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I received a letter from a friend in El Paso (Page 51) 


No. 11 





Author Special Veterinary Therapy, Special Cattle Therapy, Etc. 







Copyright 1916 




Introduction by the Publisher 7 

Chapter I Early Training vs. Natural In- 

\ clination 9 

Chapter II A Practice Won and Lost in Mil- 
waukee 15 

Chapter III A New Start in the Great Southwest 17 

Chapter IV Practice in Texas 25 

Chapter V With Uncle Sam 29 

Chapter VI Back to Milwaukee 43 

Chapter VII I leave for Texas Again 45 

Chapter VIII In Practice at Houston 47 

Chapter IX El Paso 53 

Chapter X Mexican Practice 63 

Chapter XI A Town Day in Oklahoma 73 

Chapter XII How I Began a Regular Tramp 

Existence 83 

XIII In the "Abilene" Country 93 

XIV Unfair Competition 103 

XV Farewell to Abilene 109 

XVI Dr. Asa Turns Up 115 

XVII I Get the Gold Fever 121 

XVIII "Pastures New" 125 

XIX Idaho 135 

XX We Make a Hit 145 

XXI Our Practice Prospers 151 





Chapter XXII We Get a Raw Deal 157 

Chapter XXIII A Sudden Departure 163 

Chapter XXIV My Brother Files a Claim 167 

Chapter XXV We Go on a Loafing Tour 169 

Chapter XXVI South Dakota Again 171 

Chapter XXVII Back to Government Service 179 

Chapter XXVIII The Teachings of Travel 187 



The experiences of the Itinerant Horse Phy- 
sician as recorded in the following pages can 
never again be duplicated, for matters veterinary 
have changed for the better throughout the 
regions he traversed. Still the deplorable condi- 
tions dependent upon unregulated veterinary 
practice of unqualified men calling themselves 
veterinarians, is yet a serious problem in far too 
many localities and states ; and this work cannot 
fail to help solve that problem by placing vividly 
before the whole profession and others interested 
the real calamity that unqualified veterinarians 
constitute to the live stock industry. Never before 
has the evil of the charlatanic veterinarian been 
portrayed in such glaring ugliness or condemned 
so tellingly. 

It must not be thought that the author or the 
publisher hold out the example of the Itinerant 
Horse Physician for the emulation of the young 
practitioner; rather is it to show the folly of 
believing the largest and ripest berries are always 
to be found on the next bush. But along with 
considerable information of a scientific nature, 
many a lesson in self-reliance can be gleaned 
from these pages that will stand the young prac- 
titioner in good stead when he faces that greatest 
problem of a veterinary practice — the public. 

The historical value of this record of expe- 
riences of the Itinerant Horse Physician is not 


to be minimized. Here we have delineated in the 
inimitable style of the author the evolution of 
farriery into the profession of veterinary medi- 
cine, concurrently with the attainment of pro- 
fessional accomplishments in older parts of the 
country, of which every veterinarian may be 

The historical value of the work and the inter- 
est which it arouses are enhanced not a little by 
the punctilious accuracy of the author as to 
places and dates ; by the fact that he has neither 
overdrawn nor underdrawn in his description of 
occurrences and by the unusual realism of the pen 
pictures of his characters. In only a few cases, 
and then only for very obvious reasons, have fic- 
titious names of persons been employed. 

The Publisher. 
Chicago, April, 1916. 



My father was in the tobacco business. When 
I was born he began to make plans for me, his 
first son, to follow in his footsteps, and had vis- 
ions of an immense project in his line which was 
eventually to make me the tobacco king of the 

What I know about psychology is but little; 
however, I believe his plans were knocked into a 
cocked hat at the very 
moment when he allowed 
my first Santa Claus to 
bring me for my first 
Christmas on earth a 
stuffed specimen of the 
equine species. 

As I have already re- 
marked, my knowledge 
of psychology is very 
limited, but I do believe 
that, with the plans he 
made for me when I 
made my appearance in 
his family, he should 
have picked old Santa's stock over a little more 
carefully, and his first order for me should have 
been a wooden Indian. 

While I lived with my father eighteen years, 
our home was on the western limits of the city of 
Milwaukee. A few blocks from our home lived an 

I early showed a predilection 
for horses 


eccentric old man, who folks thereabouts called 
"Cowboy Charlie. " He made a good living by 
trading horses and by taking city horses for 
pasturage at a couple of dollars the month. He 
was a sharp-witted old fellow and square and 
broad-minded to a fault. He had received a good 
education in the old country and had gravitated 
to the level of a horse jockey as the result of 
domestic disturbances induced by a flighty wife. 

Here, with old Charlie, I spent my holidays 
and evenings after school. When my compan- 
ions of the day were playing ball or other games 
I was with old Charlie, breaking broncos or 
swapping horses. 

When I had finished school, my father took 
the bull by the horns, so to speak, and placed me 
in the wholesale leaf tobacco house, where I was 
to get my preliminary training for the work he 
had outlined for my future career. While I 
worked at this place I kept up my friendship with 
old Charlie and evenings and Sundays were spent 
in his company, and there, to old Charlie, I made 
my protests against the work which my father 
was forcing me to take up, and which was not to 
my liking. Every night we would talk about it 
and old Charlie sympathized with me always. 

When I had been about a year in the leaf 
tobacco house I began to be so dissatisfied that 
every day became well-nigh unbearable. I longed 
for the open, for the roughness of the horse world, 
and my thoughts were never with my work. 

It was about at this stage of my development 
that I made the acquaintance of a certain vet- 




erinary surgeon, and he so imbued me with the 
spirit of his calling that I then and there decided 
that I had found my vocation. Prospectuses 
from various colleges, were applied for at once, 
and the tobacco business lost what little interest it 
yet held for me. But, now to break the news to 
the "governor." 

This always seemed an easy matter when I was 
in one end of the town and he in another, but as 
soon as he stood before 
me I lost all courage and 
several months passed 
before I could even 
bring myself to think of 
the matter in his pres- 

I had not been losing 
ground during this time. 
My mother was fully in- 
formed of my intentions, 
and with her help I final- 
ly faced the issue. Never 
will I forget my father's 
anger on this occasion. 
He allowed me to finish my plea and then the 
storm broke. When it was over I was packing a 
satchel and my brain was having a storm of its 
own. I had been ordered to leave the house. The 
"governor" was done with me. 

But I did not leave the house that day. I knew 
my mother full well and I took a long time pack- 
ing that satchel, and just as I was putting in the 
last pair of socks my mother came up and said 

"Cowboy Charlie" 


that Dad told her I might remain if I wanted to 
continue at my job in the leaf tobacco house. 
I took advantage of this truce and went back 

I saved up some money and bought an anatomy and began to 
study nights 

to work. I saved up some money and bought an 
anatomy and began to study nights, then, about 
three months after my first break with the 


"governor," I quit my job and went home and 
faced him again. 

The storm that struck me the first time was as 
a gentle breeze compared to the one that I had 
now to encounter, but I weathered through it, 
backed up by mother. I was now in my 
eighteenth year, and as I look back to that day, 
now twelve years gone, I wonder at the ways of 
men, and at the ironies of fate. I have faced 
many storms since that day, brain storms and 
every other kind of storm, against which that 
second outburst of my father's was but a gentle 
love tap. 



After my resignation from the tobacco busi- 
ness, I became a student at a Milwaukee vet- 
erinary hospital and remained there for eight 
months prior to my entering college. At the 
termination of my apprenticeship in the Mil- 
waukee institution, I matriculated in the Chicago 
Veterinary College and after three years of hard 
study I graduated with honors. This pleased my 
father, who had now been wholly won over to my 
view and who paid my way through college. 

I had just become of age and at once opened 
up an office on the south side of Milwaukee. 

Within a few months, I was doing a very fair 
practice and would probably have remained there 
permanently but for two reasons. 

The first of these was my old friend Charlie. 
After I graduated our friendship continued and 
1 took much delight in patching up various crip- 
pled and unsound steeds which came into his 
possession by various means and which he later 
sold again at good profit. This was all right and 
could do no harm. What did have effect on me 
was the fact that old Charlie had traveled much 
in his younger days. His stories of his travels 
gave me the wanderlust and old Charlie rather 
encouraged it in me. It did not set good with 
him to see me come out of school with colors fly- 
ing and then squat in the place of my birth. 



The second item which had some bearing on 
my future life was in the form of one of those 
imported German counts. 

This gentlemen became very much attached to 
me and as he retained quite a good many of his 
foreign ideas about life, it became necessary for 
me to join in his numerous sprees. I say neces- 
sary; at least I thought so at that time. The 
Count had control of several dollars' worth of 
practice which was mine only so only as I was his 

I tried to hold up my end of the performance 
as well as he did his, but at the end of several 
months, I found that I was going under. 

When one gets so that he can't begin the day 
without two or three doses of corn juice, he must 
be going under. 

On top of this, and, of course, as a result 
thereof, more money seemed to be going out than 
was coming in. When my clients wanted me I 
could not be found and so my practice soon went 
from me. 

I had enough good sense to see how things 
were turning out and before I went wholly on the 
rocks, I sold my horse and buggy, promised to 
pay my debts, and left for Texas. 

Before I left, I took the United States Civil 
Service examination for Veterinary Inspector, 
and successfully passed it. This was in Septem- 
ber, 1904. 



When I left Milwaukee for Texas, I was a 
young fellow, just twenty-one, and had never 
been more than two hundred miles from home. I 
was a typical middle-westerner and my ideas of 
life and the world were pretty simple ones. 

I had no more conception of what I would find 
in Texas than I now have of the next world. I 
selected Texas as a place to go to merely because 
the name had charms for me and because it was 
far away. 

I had in my possession a letter from one of my 
instructors to the State Veterinarian of Texas 
and on this letter I banked for a start. The State 
Veterinarian at that time resided in Houston and 
to that point I purchased my ticket, taking 
advantage of the colonist rates then in force 
which gave me a ticket to Houston and return for 
twenty-two dollars and fifty cents. The return 
portion of this ticket I have still in my keeping 
and it is a highly treasured souvenir. 

My route lay over the Chicago, Milwaukee and 
St. Paul road to Kansas City and from Kansas 
City over the "Katy" (Missouri, Kansas & 
Texas), through the old Indian Territory. I 
remember, better than all else on this trip, the 
booming towns in the territory where oil had 
recently been struck. Never before, nor since, 
have I seen such an example of hustle and bustle. 


I arrived in Houston on the sixth of October; 
and it was hot. I left the north with my winter 
clothes, as it was getting quite chilly there when 
I left. There, in Houston, for the first weeks I 
thought I would die from heat and I spent a 
great part of the time riding on the front end of 
street cars, where the breeze was strong, trying to 
keep cool. 

When I arrived and got out of the Grand 
Central Station, I got into one of the hotel buses 
standing at the curb and was taken to the Hotel 
Rice. I registered, and then went into the cafe; 
then I went back into the lobby and got my grip 
back and told the clerk to check me off the reg- 
ister again. I had found out that it would cost 
me about four dollars a day to stay there and in 
view of my cramped financial position, I had to 
change hotels. 

I went from the Hotel Rice to the Bristol 
Hotel, where I could stay for two dollars a day. 
I remained a guest there for half a day. 

After depositing my satchel at the Bristol 
Hotel, I began a search for the State Veterina- 
rian, to whom I had a letter of introduction, and 
found him in a small wooden building very much 
like a small real estate office on a new town addi- 
tion, on the corner of Famine and Prairie 

He was a fine, gentlemanly man and, as he 
was a native of the north, I soon came to feel at 
home. He was in need of an assistant but could 
not quite afford to pay me what I thought I was 


After haggling over my salary for several 
days, we agreed on a kind of partnership. All 
business done up to two hundred dollars each 
month was to be divided between us equally. All 
over that sum went to him in a lump. This 
arrangement made it possible for me to make a 
hundred dollars a month and I did so as long as 
I worked on this basis. 

I found many things here during my first few 
months' stay which took a good bit of the middle- 
westerner out of me and which broadened my 
mind considerably. Also, I found that I would 
have to brush up on several points in my pro- 
fession. I encountered many conditions and dis- 
eases here which were rare or unknown in the 

When I had entered into the partnership above 
referred to I took a room with an elderly couple 
in the residence section and soon I was very much 
at home in my new surroundings. Only at cer- 
tain times did I have a longing for my northern 
home and I will never forget how I was affected 
by the advertising signs of a certain brand of 
tobacco which was on the market at the time. It 
was called "Old North State"; everywhere on 
telephone poles, on fences and barns these signs 
were tacked up. "Use Good Old North State"; 
many weeks passed before I could read one of 
the signs without flinching. 

Another difficulty I experienced in Houston 
during the early part of my stay there was in con- 
nection with the attitude of the whites towards 
the negroes. It was quite a long time before I 


could refrain from showing them courtesies which 
were considered out of place there. I had the 
middle-westener firm grounding on the equality 
of peoples and it hurt when I had to extract it. 

But this was overcome in time and gave me no 
trouble later. 

I had not been in Houston many weeks before 
I got the "happy-go-lucky spirit" of the south 
and west. I began to have visions of big deals in 
lands, in cattle and other big enterprises and I 
wanted to expand. Everybody who amounted to 
anything talked of big things; big oil strikes or 
cattle deals ; or a land sale of thousands of acres. 
My middle-west sense of proportion was torn into 
shreds and I began to get the wanderlust again; 
wanted to see some of this big action. 

To this day I have not entirely overcome that 
desire to move; it comes to the fore every now 
and then and it has cost me dearly more than 

At just about the time when that hundred dol- 
lars per month was getting on my nerves, I 
received a commission from the United States 
Department of Agriculture as a veterinary 
inspector in the Bureau of Animal Industry, with 
orders to report for duty at Fort Worth, Texas. 
I have mentioned before that I took the civil 
service examination before leaving Milwaukee; 
this appointment followed it. 

I had not notified the civil service commission 
of my change of address and the appointment 
letter had been sent to my home address in Mil- 
waukee and forwarded to me by my father, reach- 


ing me in Houston on the day on which I was to 
go on duty in Fort Worth. 

The position paid only a hundred dollars a 
month also, but I thought it would give me an 
opportunity to satisfy my craving for a change of 
environment and so I wired my acceptance and 
left for my station that night. 

Before leaving the State Veterinarian assured 
me that he would be pleased to have me return 
and continue in his employ if the government 
position should be unsuitable. I am not sure 
whether he made the assertion in good faith. 
Nevertheless, I was back in Houston inside of 
two weeks and he kept his word. 

Arriving at Fort Worth, I was put on hog 
inspection in Armour's Packing House. Meat 
inspection at that time, as governed by govern- 
ment regulations, was a farce and in the light of 
my opportunities in other fields, I did not care 
to be a party to what I considered hoodwinking 
the public. The reader must remember that this 
was twelve years ago before the meat inspection 
law of 1906, before the publication of "The 
Jungle" and when congress was niggardly with 
the Department of Agriculture and looked upon 
meat inspection chiefly as a means of procuring 
export trade. 

The climax of this part of my career was pre- 
cipitated by a quarrel with the chief inspector 
who persisted in releasing animals which I con- 
demned, and I resigned. He had been in the 
service so long that he had become calloused to 
conditions which were repugnant to me. As 


evidence that I was not entirely wrong about this 
I had the satisfaction to see him reduced to the 
rank of ordinary inspector soon thereafter. 

As I said, I resigned and went back to Hous- 
ton and took up my work where I had left off. 
I was in a restful frame of mind again and for 
about two months I was satisfied that Houston 
just suited me. 

The hot weather kept right up and on Christ- 
mas day there came a nice warm rain. This rain 
interfered with the proper Christmas festivities as 
they are conducted there, which is on the order of 
our Fourth of July celebration in the north — 
fireworks and all that goes with it. 

Speaking of Fourth of July celebrations 
brings to my mind a type of native which I fre- 
quently encountered in east Texas and who gave 
me much concern at first. They are "old timers" 
who do not seem to know that the Civil War is 
over and forgotten. To them every man from 
the north is a hated "Yank" and in some of the 
4 'back-in- the-sticks" places in east Texas it is best 
not to speak too plainly about your place of birth 
if you happen to be from the north side of the 
Mason-Dixon line. 

The month of February came and I began to 
get the spring fever. I had now been in Texas 
four months and I wanted to see more of it. I 
began to look around for a location with a view of 
going into practice on my own hook again, and 
after some casting about, I decided to go to 
Temple, in Bell County, one of the best farming 
counties in Texas. 


I had not saved a dollar in Houston during the 
four months and had to borrow some money to 
get started in Temple. I thought I could well 
afford to do so considering what bonanza location 
Temple seemed to be. It was then a town of 
about ten thousand people and a few miles away 
is Belton, the county seat, also a good town. An 
electric railway connects them. In neither of 
these towns nor in any town within a radius of 
fifty miles was there a graduate veterinarian. 

The surrounding country was thickly settled 
with good farmers and it looked like a fine 

I stayed there about six weeks. During those 
six weeks, I earned about six dollars. 

After I had been there a few weeks and saw 
how things were going, I made application for 
reinstatement in the government service and 
through the good offices of my friend, the State 
Veterinarian in Houston, I was given an assign- 
ment on Colonel Dean's force in the quarantine 
division. This meant field work, in the open, and 
suited me exactly. 

I had been corresponding with a classmate of 
mine who had located in Massachusetts. He 
wanted to come west. Although I had done little 
or no business in Temple, I could see no reason 
for it, I can't see any reason to this day, why 
there was no business there. I sincerely believed 
that the business was there and would come in 
time. I wrote my former classmate about the 
situation and he came and took my office a few 
days before my government job went into effect. 


He remained there three months and had to 
borrow money to get out of town, as I had to do 
also when I left there. 

I borrowed money to get in and start and then 
borrowed more to get out and quit. 



When I first began to practice my profession 
in Texas I made the discovery that there were a 
number of diseases among animals which I had 
never seen in the northern animals. 

The first one of these was anthrax, and, by the 
way, one of the first cases that came into my 
hands after my arrival in Texas was a case of 
anthrax in a horse. I remember the case very 
well. It was on a hot Sunday afternoon, and the 
horse in question was a driver stabled in a private 
stable in the residence section in Houston. The 
animal was taken sick about noon and the owner 
called me at about two in the afternoon. When 
1 arrived, the owner stated that the sickness came 
on suddenly ; the horse had been standing, quietly 
eating, when suddenly he stopped eating and 
seemed somewhat delirious. Very soon there- 
after he went down. I found him down, showing 
some delirium. On various parts of his body, but 
mostly in front of the trachea and under the 
belly, he had an edematous swelling. The owner 
stated these came on since he was taken sick. 

The visible membranes showed echymoses ; the 
temperature was quite high. 

The owner was a pleasant chap and did not try 
to "think what is the matter with him," but when 
I told him I thought his horse had anthrax, he 
disagreed with me; he said he thought it was 



charbon. I explained that charbon and anthrax 
were the same and complimented him on his 
ability to diagnose the case. He stated that he 
was quite familiar with this disease, having been 
raised in the low-lands of east Texas. "But," he 
said, "folks hereabouts always call in charbon." 

Of course I remembered the synonyms of anth- 

The horse died in about three hours, having 
had, no doubt, the apoplectic form. 

Anthrax, or charbon, was very common in that 
country in those days. Even within the city it 
was not rare. I clearly remember an instance in 
my experience occurring in a small dairy which 
was conducted in the residence portion of Hous- 
ton. Three or four cows died in two days with 

So common was the disease that many people 
would not call in the veterinarian at all, recogniz- 
ing the disease themselves and "just letting them 

This was no doubt one of the reasons why the 
disease was so common; almost no preventive 
measures were taken and carcasses were not 
properly destroyed. 

Another disease which was very common there 
was tetanus. Very few horses died from it, how- 
ever; it seemed to run a very mild course. The 
latter point made it necessary for me to change 
my prognosis in tetanus cases; in Wisconsin we 
usually gave a very unfavorable prognosis 
because the mortality there from tetanus was 
very high. Here, in Texas, I discovered that I 


could usually give a very favorable prognosis for 
cases of tetanus. 

The disease which gave me the most trouble 
when I first began to practice in east Texas was 
the botryomycotic infection commonly known as 
"summer sores." 

Some of my experiences with this condition 
were most discouraging and I did not make much 
progress with my handling of these cases until an 
old practitioner "put me next" to a few things. 
Most of the practitioners with whom I discussed 
this disease had only a very poor understanding 
of the pathology of it; most of them had never 
heard of botryomyces. Some of them attributed 
the condition to the filaria irritans. A few of them 
ascribed the condition to cancerous processes, 
calling it cancer. Nearly every one had a differ- 
ent form of treatment for this disease ; and most 
of the treatments did not accomplish very much. 

I remember one instance which occurred while 
I was in Texas in which a very competent veter- 
inarian diagnosed a botryomycotic infection of 
the genitals in a stallion as dourine. I mention 
this merely to illustrate how little even the local 
practitioners knew about botryomycosis at the 
time of which I write. 

One condition which I expected to find in the 
south was insolation, or heat stroke. Great was 
my surprise when an old practitioner in Houston 
told me that this condition was practically never 
seen there. Later I found this to be true. I had 
one or two cases of "over-heating" in a mild form, 


but regular sun-stroke such as we get in the 
north, I never encountered in the south. 

An interesting point along therapeutic lines I 
learned in the extreme western part of Texas, 
where the altitude is very high, being sometimes 
5,000 feet above sea level. This point was in 
regard to the treatment of pneumonia, and other 
febrile conditions, but pneumonia most especially, 
and consists in the fact that one must be very 
careful in the use of heart depressants such as 
acetanilid, phenacetin, all coal-tar products, and 
even quinin. 

The doctor who treats his pneumonia cases 
there as most of us do in the lower altitudes will 
have many deaths, usually in the first day or two 
of the attack. Pneumonia patients in those alti- 
tudes truly die of heart exhaustion, and few fatal 
cases live over a few days. It is a good place in 
which to take lessons in the treatment of this dis- 
ease — lessons that are valuable in any altitude. 



A whole year had gone by now since my grad- 
uation and I had nothing except a little expe- 
rience to show for it. Money I had none, and 
what was worse, I was in debt. 

I owed several friends money in Milwaukee 
and also in Houston. Likewise in Temple where 
I had had to borrow money to get out of town. 

I was now twenty-two years old and in good 
health. I was full of life and the world looked 
bright to me in spite of my misfortune. 

So far only one occurrence had the effect of 
sadness on me and that was a notice which I 
received, while in Temple, of the death — self- 
inflicted — of my old friend Charlie. Aside from 
this, I could see nothing but cheerful success 
ahead of me, as I began my duties for the second 
time in the government service. As my work 
this time would be inspecting animals on the hoof 
at various ranches and stock yards, I looked for- 
ward to my new appointment with much interest. 

My first appointment as veterinary official in 
the Bureau of Animal Industry was in the fall 
of 1904, shortly after my arrival in Texas. By a 
strange coincidence I was to go on duty at Fort 
Worth, Texas. 

The position at that time paid only $1,200.00 
a year, and the veterinarian went by the title of 
"Meat Inspector." 



The inspection, as it was carried out then, was 
very slipshod and unscientific. Under instruc- 
tions, I sat for nine hours, with a short lunch 
period, in a chair inspecting hog viscera. I was 
supplied with a pronged stick for poking any 
particular set into position for a better view. 
Unless a gross pathological process was present, 
it was impossible to detect abnormalities. 

This system of inspection did not agree with 


I was sent to Colorado City, Texas, to inspect cattle for interstate 

my ideas of "value received," and when my 
superior persisted in releasing the few carcasses 
which I did hold up in spite of this poor method 
of inspection, I resigned. I had been on the job 
only two weeks. 

When I was reinstated in the service, in the 
spring of 1905, I went into the quarantine divi- 

In this division I found an entirely different 
state of affairs. The inspectors were capable 
and efficient fellows, and did their work well. 


My orders were to report for duty at Fort 
Worth to Dr. Wallace (who has since died), 
there to get my instructions and to be "broken 
in." After ten days, I was supposed to be "broke 
in" sufficiently and was sent to Colorado City, 
Texas, to inspect cattle, out of the modified quar- 
antine area, for inter-state shipment. My instruc- 
tions were to report to Dan McCunningham, 
inspector in charge at Colorado City, and work 
under his orders; but when I arrived McCun- 
ningham was away making an inspection. 

Somehow word had reached Colorado City that 
an assistant inspector would make his appearance 
on that day and my services were in demand at 
once. A certain cattle man had fourteen hundred 
head of steers he wanted to ship. The cattle were 
gathered, cars ordered and they must be 
inspected at once. My chief was away, and I, as 
assistant, must make the inspection which, in that 
locality, was for Texas fever ticks. 

These "ticks," when full grown, are about the 
size of a grain of corn and my inspection papers, 
when signed by me, would certify that every one 
of those fourteen hundred steers was free from 
ticks ; if I could have found one tick on one steer, 
I should have had to refuse to issue them clear- 
ance papers. 

From this you can imagine that I was not very 
much at ease on this job. Here I was, new at the 
work, and new to this life, with fourteen hundred 
wild Texas steers staring me in the face, demand- 
ing inspection. But "I slipped one over" on this 


first job in my new official capacity in the follow- 
ing manner: 

It was the custom at that time for the state of 
Texas to appoint local inspectors in each county 
to assist in maintaining the federal quarantine 
lines and to make inspections of cattle for move- 
ment within the state of Texas. In addition to 
this they also made an inspection ( for the state of 
Texas) of all cattle moving out of the quar- 
antined area for any purpose whatever. 

These state inspectors were laymen, but usually 
expert "cow-men" and very dependable inspec- 
tors. In the instance of my first inspection two 
of these state inspectors, Tom Benson and Joe 
Merritt, were present. I allowed them to make 
their inspection first and when they gave me their 
opinion that the herd was free from ticks, I felt 
that I need have no scruples about issing my cer- 
tificate. I made only a casual examination and 
frankly told the state inspectors that I had con- 
fidence in their inspection. In this manner I not 
only slipped through an embarrassing position, 
for I knew absolutely nothing about inspecting 
cattle in herds on the plains, but I also gained the 
friendship and good-will of the two state men. 
They did many good turns for me as long as I 
was stationed at Colorado City and are num- 
bered among my staunch friends to this day. 

On the following day McCunningham made 
his appearance and I worked under his super- 
vision for a time, until I was capable of making 
a thorough inspection. 

This McCunningham was one of the old live- 


stock agents of which not many are left in the 
Bureau of Animal Industry. They were not 
veterinarians, but most of those with whom I 
became acquainted were good "cow-men" and 
had a very good knowledge of the quarantine reg- 
ulations and of the diseases for which they were 
on the lookout. 

One of these government agents, the late Col. 
Albert Dean, will bear mention especially. He 
was a fine man in every respect and for many 
years was in charge of the quarantine division 
covering Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and 
portions of other states. Veterinarians as well as 
others were under his supervision and all held 
him in high esteem. Officially he ranked even 
above the inspector in charge at Kansas City and 
was for many years and until his death, about 
three years ago, an instructor in a veterinary col- 
lege there. 

I remained at Colorado City about two 
months and was then transferred to El Paso, to 
inspect animals of all kinds for importation into 
the United States from Mexico. 

In this position, I traveled along the Mexican 
border from Sanderson, Texas, to Nogales, 
Arizona. It was interesting work, although at 
times hazardous and connected with much hard- 
ship. In a short time I could speak Spanish 
enough to make my dealings with the Mexican 
cattle-men more agreeable and this knowledge of 
Spanish came to be quite useful in other lines. 

After I became proficient in the art of inspect- 
ing stock on the hoof, I found the work very 


interesting. The constant traveling about, from 
one town to another and from the towns to the 
various ranches and ranges, was exactly to my 
liking. Besides, there was plenty of chance for 
excitement; in some spots the territory which I 
had in charge was quite "wild and woolly." 
Almost every day there was need for consider- 
able "backbone," and now and then for more 
than considerable. A few of my experiences will 
suffice to give the reader an idea of what the vet- 
erinary inspector does in the quarantine division 
for a hundred dollars per month. (Today he 
gets $116.67 per month.) 

A request came to the office one day for 
inspection of some two thousand head of steers 
out of the modified quarantine area. I was 
detailed to proceed to the point given and make 
the inspection without delay. I left my station 
in the evening, rode on the train all night and 
arrived at the place, Marathon, early the next 

The regulations affecting the modified quaran- 
tine area stipulated that the cattle must be 
inspected on the ranch or range; they must not 
be trailed until the government inspector had 
certified them. The inspection was chiefly for 
Texas fever ticks, but other infectious diseases, 
like scab for example, must not be ignored. 

When I arrived at Marathon the owner of the 
cattle met me at the depot. He stated that the 
cattle were within a few miles of the town, hav- 
ing been driven from the ranch in Pecos County. 
Here was a calamity. Pecos County, where the 
ranch was located, was in quarantine. Mara- 


thon, where the cattle now were, was in Brew- 
ster County, in the free area. My duty, accord- 
ing to the government regulations bearing upon 
a case of this kind, would be to declare the 
cattle in quarantine at once wherever I found 
them. I had no right, even to look at them in 
an official capacity. The cattle were from an 
infected area and must be looked upon as 
infected. The fact that they had been trailed 
out of the quarantined area in violation of the 
regulations placed them beyond the pale of eligi- 
bility for inspection for the time being. I must 
place them under quarantine for thirty days, at 
the expiration of which the owner might apply 
for inspection to obtain their release. 

You can imagine that a cow-man would not 
take this matter very lightly. Here were around 
two thousand steers, valued easily at $50,000.00, 
in prime shape for market. Along comes "a 
young kid of a government inspector," working 
for a hundred dollars a month, who says the 
cattle cannot be shipped. But this was not the 
biggest trouble. When word was passed around 
that the government inspector had said the cattle 
were to be considered under quarantine, the 
ranchmen on whose property the cattle hap- 
pened to be at the time wanted to drive them off ; 
their district was in the free area, open to all 
markets, and they did not want the herd on their 

My first act was to wire my chief, old Col. 
Dean, at Kansas City, what I was up against. 
I received a reply which upheld my action and 
ordered me to properly institute a quarantine 


over the herd and then return to my station. 
This made me feel good, I assure you. 

When, four weeks after, I was again detailed 
to inspect the herd I found them absolutely free 
from infection. As far as I know the owner of 
that herd has not forgiven me to this day ; I lost 
his goodwill. But, — I had to enforce the regula- 

On another occasion I was detailed to inspect 
a small herd of cattle, numbering about three 
hundred head, for shipment out of the modified 
quarantine area near the town of Colorado, 

The ranch on which the cattle were at the time 
was known to be infected with ticks, and no cat- 
tle had passed inspection there for several 
seasons. My superior officer gave me warning 
to "look sharp" and be on my mettle, for not 
only was the ranch known to be infected, but the 
owner was also known for his trickery in "trying 
to get by." 

Two inspectors acting for the State of Texas 
accompanied me to the ranch. We found the 
herd gathered in a small corral, barely large 
enough to hold them. This was the first evidence 
to me that the* owner of the herd was on to his 
job; it is a most difficult matter to make a 
thorough inspection for ticks under such condi- 
tions. The cattle crowd and join together, giv- 
ing the inspector no chance to view the parts 
where ticks are most commonly seen, such as the 
dewlap, escutcheon, udder, lower flank, and so on. 

When the inspector pushes his horse into the 
bunch, he is immediately surrounded by the 


herd; the cattle find it impossible to spread out, 
and handle his mount as he may, the inspector 
remains constantly in the jam. Besides, it is a 
very difficult matter to "cut out" a cow or a steer 
for individual examination under such condi- 
tions. I had been "up against" just such propo- 
sitions before this, however, and I made that 
owner and his little bunch of cow-punchers earn 
their bread that day. 

For nearly two hours I had them jumping 
cows into a chute, where I made a thorough 
inspection at my ease. I had examined probably 
a couple of hundred head of the herd in this 
manner without finding a sign of a tick. The 
owner and the punchers were getting balky ; they 
began to make remarks about the government's 
ideas of the cattle industry and about some of 
the "damphool" inspectors working for the gov- 
ernment. This "got my goat." I told them that 
I was there to find ticks on their cows; that I 
knew there were ticks on them, and that I would 
have every cow go through the chute. "And 
then," I said, "if I haven't found any ticks, we 
will run them all through the chute once more. 
You guys are nothing but a bunch of bluffers 
and I know that too. Now get busy, or I go 
back to town." 

Well, I had them sized up right; not a man 
peeped, and they rushed the cattle through the 
chute plenty fast. 

When I had examined all but about twenty or 
thirty head, they chased in a big red cow; and 
there the performance stopped. I found a 
couple of nice, big, fat ticks on the inside of one 


thigh. Under the magnifying glass they proved 
to be the Margaropus annulatus. 

The owner of the herd stood by my side when 


I pulled the ticks off the cow, and he wanted me 
to hand him the ticks. This I would not do 
until both the state inspectors had seen them 


and confirmed my findings ; then I let him exam- 
ine them. When he had done looking them over, 
he claimed they were not Texas fever ticks. I 
did not argue with him, but simply told him he 
could not ship the cattle. Thereupon he rushed 
at me, fumbling with his right hand in his shirt 
front. I stepped to one side and, whirling partly 
round on one foot, I caught him with a full arm 
swing on the side of the neck. He seemed to 
become suddenly rigid and toppled over like a 

I expected the gang of punchers to jump me, 
but no one interfered. The two state inspectors 
accompanied me back to town, and on the way 
they advised me to be on my guard for the fellow 
from now on; they said he was a "bad actor" and 
would "get" me. Imagine my surprise when the 
next day he appeared at the office and begged 
my pardon for having lost his temper. When I 
saw him coming, I thought he was coming to 
shoot it out with me, and I "fixed" myself; that 
is, I met him at the door with a heavy "44 Colts' " 
in one hand. 

Later I was told that his pardon begging stunt 
was the result of certain information imparted to 
him by one of the state inspectors. This partic- 
ular bit of information related to the Act of 
Congress which provides for the severe punish- 
ment of parties guilty of threatening or attack- 
ing an inspector performing his duty. 

While such episodes as I have just related 
were common occurrences in the routine of quar- 
antine work in those days, I remember only one 
or two instances where the inspectors took 


advantage of their official capacity in thus prose- 
cuting an individual. As a rule the occurrence 
was not reported by the inspector. Usually we 
came out on top anyhow, and we merely counted 
it as a little spice to our sauce. Nearly every 
inspector in the quarantine division in those days 
could tell you a number of similar experiences. 

The fault in every case lay with the cattle men, 
who looked upon the matter as personal between 
them and the inspectors. They did not stop to 
consider that everything the veterinary inspector 
did was under rigid rules and regulations. A 
government veterinarian in that branch of the 
service really had no personality while on duty. 
He was bound to enforce the government regu- 
lations regardless of sentiment or personal bias, 
and it could make no difference to him what the 
circumstances, or who the sufferer. For the 
inspector it is always an "open and shut" propo- 

For a period of five months I was stationed at 
El Paso, Texas, making inspections of live stock 
imported into this country from Mexico. My 
territory extended along the Mexican border for 
a distance of about three hundred miles on each 
side of El Paso. 

At that time Mexico had no rules or regula- 
tions affecting live stock diseases and the U. S. 
government regulations on Mexican stock cov- 
ered all communicable diseases. The U. S. 
inspectors were supposed to "spot" anything and 
everything on Mexican stock presented for 
importation into this country; the inspectors 
could use their judgement to a great extent. 


This work was very interesting, but no "snap" 
by any means. The transportation and hotel 
accommodations were far from being first-class, 
and the inspector found many things to worry 

I remember one instance in which I was 
detailed to make an inspection of Mexican cat- 
tle across the line from Columbus, N. M. I left 
El Paso at six in the evening on a mixed freight 
and passenger train, arriving at Columbus about 
midnight. Columbus at that time consisted of 
the depot, a section house, and the cow pens. 
Getting off the train, I asked the depot agent 
where I could get a night's lodging. He said 
there was no place "in town" where they put up 
travelers, but there was a man living about a mile 
west who "usually took them in." He pointed 
out a light to me in that direction, saying, "See 
that light? Well, that's the place." 

I did not like the idea of walking a mile 
through that rattlesnake desert at midnight; I 
followed him into the depot and asked permis- 
sion to sleep on the floor. At first he refused my 
request; but when I told him I was a federal 
officer, and after he had taken a look at my 
badge, he said I might stay. 

So I made a pillow of my grip and slept away. 

About 2 o'clock I awoke, chilled to the bone. 
Although the month was July, I was experienc- 
ing one of those cold nights so common in that 
high altitude; I don't believe I ever suffered so 
from cold, before or since, as I did there that 
July night. 

I found it impossible to sleep again and got 


up with the intention of building a fire some- 
where outside to get warm by, only to find that I 
had no matches. So I began to walk up and 
down the track, keeping it up until sunrise, 
somewhere around four o'clock. 

About six o'clock the agent got up and was 
kind enough to invite me upstairs to breakfast, a 
breakfast that I enjoyed too, thankfully. 

I had just finished the breakfast when a rider 
appeared with an extra horse to take me out to 
the herd; twelve miles below Columbus they 
were, he said. You can imagine how I felt 
about riding twelve miles on a horse after walk- 
ing the track the greater part of the night. 

And then, when we got to their camp, the boss 
informed me that the herd had stampeded during 
the night ; the boys had been successful in holding 
about half of them, around seven hundred head, 
and it would take a day or two to gather the run- 
aways again. He thought, though, that I might 
look at those they held and issue a certificate on 
the entire shipment if I found these were alright ; 
they were all "clean," he was positive, and he 
couldn't see why that could not be done. 

I told him I could not do this ; I would have to 
see every animal I certified. However, I told 
him that I would inspect the seven hundred head 
they had now and give him a certificate on that 
number if I found them alright. 

This he did not want, and I rode back to 

It took nearly two weeks before the office 
received another request to inspect the herd, 
when another inspector was detailed to the work. 



I remained in El Paso five months and was 
transferred again to Colorado City to relieve old 
Dan McCunningham, resigned. This was vir- 
tually a promotion for me and considering the 
fact that I was only a few months in the service, 
it should have elated me in the highest. I did 
not look at it in this light, however, and one 
month later I resigned my position to take up a 
road position with C. Bischoff & Co., of New 
York City. 

This was at the time of the advent of Prof. 
Von Behring's Bovo-vaccine for the immuniza- 
tion of cattle against tuberculosis and my duty 
was the introduction of Bovo-vaccine among 
veterinarians, health officers and stock raisers. 
Besides this, I was to appear at various live-stock 
meetings and address them on the subject. This 
position paid a good deal more than the govern- 
ment position and was a grand opportunity for 
me to do something more than most veterinarians 
have a chance to do. My territory included the 
states on both sides of the Mississippi from Mex- 
ico to Canada and I had visions of great variety. 

I held this position just three weeks. It took 
much patience for me to stay with it even so long. 
Bovo-vaccine was entirely in the experimental 
stage at the time and I could not "talk" it strong 
enough. I could not bring myself to the right 
pitch of enthusiasm in the stuff and of course 
nobody wanted to subject his cattle to an experi- 
ment. I got as far as Kansas City and then sent 



in my resignation, leaving at once for my old 
home in Milwaukee, after having been away a 
year and two months. 

A few days after my arrival in Milwaukee, I 
received a letter from C. Bischoff & Co., in which 
they expressed their regret at my resignation 
and urging me to come to New York at their 
expense for the purpose of instructing me in the 
art of introducing Bovo-vaccine. 

This offer I also turned down. To this day I 
have regretted this. One of the qualifications 
which gave me the position with these people was 
my knowledge of German. It was desired that 
I make first-hand translations from literature 
obtained from Behringwerk in Germany and 
other matters. This knowledge of German had 
other value with this position which might have 
come later and I have always been sorry for my 
action in declining the offer. 

Now I found myself back in Milwaukee under 
my father's roof. I had been gone a little over 
a year and had given the finest exhibition of 
bone-headism during this time which was ever 
witnessed. I was only twenty-two years old and 
although Opportunity had already knocked twice 
at my door I had set the dog on her each time. 

Had I remained in the government service at 
Colorado City I might now be a superior officer 
in that organization. Setting this aside, had I 
remained with C. Bischoff & Co., I might now be 
hobnobbing with Prof, von Behring himself. 
But as things were, I was out of a job, had not 
even a bread and butter practice, and I was 
"broke" besides. 



When I made up my mind to return to my 
home in Milwaukee it was with no intention of 
doing anything in particular. I was floundering, 
mentally, like a fish in a net. I was full of energy 
and ambition, but I could not become anchored. 

While I was in the government service I saw 
many chances for making my fortune, by the 
investment of a few hundred dollars, but I could 
never assemble the few hundred dollars. One of 
the opportunities which I saw at that time has 
recently come to the fore and when I read the 
notice of it in the papers a few months ago, I 
almost got the wander-lust again. The notice in 
the paper referred to the fact that the waters in 
the springs at Fort Stockton, Texas, are heavily 
charged with radium; and of course, you know 
what that means for Fort Stockton. 

Fort Stockton was one of the towns to which 
I made a number of trips while in the service and 
I could see a great future for it as a health 
resort. While I knew nothing about the radium 
in the water, everything else was ideal for the 
purpose, and I endeavored on several occasions 
to interest certain parties in the project, but 
never successfully. 

At other places in west Texas I saw towns 
spring up from a few tents to a thousand inhab- 
itants in a few months' time. Many of these 
towns are now hustling, solid places and the best 



for them is yet to come. All these things and 
many more were constantly almost within my 
grasp. In many instances a few hundred dollars 
properly placed would have made a snug fortune 
for me. 

These, and many other thoughts, began to cir- 
culate around in my think machine when I 
landed in Milwaukee. Everything seemed small 
and narrow now at home. In Texas everything 
was done on a large scale and I saw more money 
floating around in a few months in Texas than I 
ever saw in a year in Milwaukee. 

Probably the reason for this was, nearly 
everybody else there did as I did — spent what 
they got as fast as they could lay hands on it. 
Nevertheless, the money works there ; they don't 
let it rest much. They keep it busy passing 
from pocket to pocket and I didn't stop to 
analyze the situation. 

The first time I went to Texas the penny was 
seen there only in the postoffices. Merchants 
had no use for it. Prices were all even money, 
nickels or dimes. When I got back to Mil- 
waukee, a real town full of German, penny- 
saving people, I became more than ever 
impressed with the bigness of Texas, and all 
things Texan. I looked around for a few weeks 
and once more got on board the cars for Hous- 
ton, having once again borrowed money for a 
start. This time I had outlined a plan of prog- 
ress and I made up my mind to gather in some 
of that floating money and hang on to it. 

How successful I was in this resolve will be 
seen in the following pages. 



On leaving Milwaukee this time my plans 
were to return to Houston and remain there 
until such a time as I would have an opportunity 
to find an opening for a good practice. Hous- 
ton, itself, was a fairly good location at that 
time. It was a city of about sixty thousand with 
a grand country surrounding it, and there were 
only three veterinarians there, meaning, of 
course, graduates. Of empirics there were a 
number, but these never caused me much con- 
cern. Any graduate of ability need have no fear 
of the best non-graduate that ever put a blister 
on an abscess. (Where the empiric usually has 
the advantage over the young graduate is in the 
art of handling people. Most of them are past 
masters at this and the young practitioner as a 
rule does not give this part of the business much 
attention. He relies too much on his actual pro- 
fessional ability. As far as "delivering the 
goods" is concerned, I say again, no non-grad- 
uate, be he ever so good, can stand with a 
graduate of average worth. I have "bucked" as 
many different empirics, some of the best of 
them included, as any graduate in the country 
and I never yet found it difficult to make them 
lay down. But more of the details later. 

I proceeded to Houston once more, arriving 
there this time in the early part of February. 



My friend, the State Veterinarian, still held 
office, and for the first few weeks I spent the 
greater part of my time with him, earning a few 
dollars now and then, helping out in odd cases 
and making a long distance call now and then. 
At that time it was nothing unusual to receive a 
call from points fifty to a hundred miles away. 
Graduate veterinarians were few and far 
between in Texas in those days and one who 
established a practice and gained any kind of 
good reputation could always get more of these 
long distance calls than he could handle. For 
these trips it was customary to make a charge of 
twenty-five dollars per day with expenses. 

When a few weeks had gone by in this man- 
ner I opened up an office in the down town 
section on Franklin Street and hung out my own 
sign. The State Veterinarian gave me all the 
assistance he could in the beginning and I began 
to do quite a bit of work. In this regard he, the 
State Veterinarian, stands in a class of veteri- 
nary practitioners which is not very large. He did 
everything in his power to make it easy for me to 
work up a practice, and that in his own territory, 
within a few blocks of his own office. With very 
few exceptions the other graduate veterinarians 
with whom I have come in contact always 
attempted in every possible manner to discourage 
new beginners. In one instance phvsical violence 
was threatened if I should have the courage to 
compete with a certain practitioner. This was 
not quite as bad as an instance, which I shall 
relate later, in which two quacks brought com- 


petition in their town down to an affair of sawed- 
off shotguns; but, considering that both parties 
were presumed to be professional gentlemen, it 
was bad enough. 

One of the ways in which the State Veteri- 
narian helped me was in turning over to me some 
of the long distance calls which he could not find 
the time to attend. Such calls as these, fifty to a 
hundred miles from the office, are the kind that 
demonstrate the real worth of the veterinarian. 
In such instances he must do to the best of his 
ability in a few hours' time, what he would do at 
home in the course of a few days or a week. He 
must put things in a "nut shell" and his treat- 
ment must hit the spot. Also, he must be able to 
see ahead and prepare the owner for the handling 
of possible complications or unexpected develop- 
ments. The man who can make good on these 
long distance cases will be a winner anywhere 
and it is good training for young fellows. 

In a few years I did so much of this long dis- 
tance work that it left its mark on me. By this I 
mean that I got the habit of handling my practice 
at home in the same manner. To this day I find 
myself making this mistake in my practice every 
little while; a mistake from a financial stand- 
point. I have treated many cases of pneumonia 
and other long drawn-out cases, at home, making 
not more than two calls and frequently only one 
and while I usually get a proportionate fee, just 
the same, the client thinks you are earning your 
money if you call oftener, and it is probably bet- 
ter to call oftener in a home practice. Many little 


things can be done for the patient under the 
veterinarian's suggestion which will hasten the 
recovery and oftentimes he can prevent compli- 
cations by seeing his patient frequently. 

Very soon after I started in practice on Frank- 
lin Street I was given a contract for the veteri- 
nary attendance on two hundred head of mules, 
which were being used in grading the right of 
way for a new railroad, east of Houston, running 
through the lowlands, sometimes at sea level. 
The main camp of this outfit was near Liberty, 
Texas, about sixty miles from Houston, and 
according to my contract I was to make two trips 
to this camp each week. For this I was to get 
fifty dollars per month for my services, medicine 
and other essentials to be paid extra. When I 
had held the contract for about two weeks a mule 
died suddenly and I was summoned posthaste. 
History and appearance, without autopsy, 
pointed quite plainly to anthrax, and as we were 
in a country where anthrax was common, I pro- 
cured enough vaccine for the entire bunch and 
vaccinated every one of them. Not another mule 
died. It may not have been anthrax, although I 
was quite familiar with anthrax then, having seen 
much of it while with the State Veterinarian. At 
any rate I took no chances and the owner of the 
mules was well satisfied. He had had experience 
with this disease and he gladly footed the bill for 
the vaccine. My contract had been running about 
six weeks when the entire outfit changed hands 
and another veterinarian got my job. 

Now, at the time of which I write, automobiles 1 


were not yet very plentiful and the livery busi- 
ness was still flourishing, with horses for motive 
power. There was one large stable in Houston, 
known as the Wilson Transfer Company, which 
at that time used several hundred horses. 
Through the influence of a mutual friend I was 
given a chance at the veterinary attendance in 
this stable and would undoubtedly have been suc- 
cessful in landing the contract for the entire out- 
fit if I had remained there. Another live con- 
cern whose veterinary services I performed dur- 
ing this time was the Smithy Cab Line. This 
concern had about thirty horses and used them 
on a string of one-horse cabs, hauling passengers 
fourteen blocks for twenty-five cents. This was 
the only concern of the kind I ever knew and it 
was a money maker. 

I was now doing a very nice little bit of prac- 
tice and was just getting a good grasp of the 
entire opening when I received a letter from a 
friend, a Doctor Thatcher, in El Paso. I had 
met the doctor while I was stationed at El Paso 
in the government service and before I left there 
we had become very close friends. Doctor 
Thatcher was a graduate of one of the old coun- 
try schools in Scotland or England and had been 
in practice at El Paso for about fifteen years 
when I first met him. He was a good veterina- 
rian, had seen much of the world and was a man 
whose friendship was worth something. 

In his letter he stated that he had been ap- 
pointed bacteriologist for the city of El Paso 
and wanted a man to take charge of his practice. 


If I wanted to come he would pay me a hundred 
dollars per month salary and in addition, to make 
it a little more interesting, five per cent on all 
work done. If I accepted he would wire me 
transportation and I might consider myself en- 
gaged if the proposition suited me. 

Well, it did not take me very long to decide. 
I believe within an hour after I received the let- 
ter, I had sent him a telegram, accepting the of- 
fer and asking him to forward the transportation. 
The latter was of some moment; from Houston 
to El Paso is eight hundred and twenty-five 
miles. At three cents a mile this made twenty- 
four dollars and seventy-five cents, and I could 
well make use of so much money in those days. 

Within a couple of days I had collected a few 
bills that I had outstanding, sold my few pieces 
of office furniture and said good-bye to Hous- 
ton and my friends there for the last time. This 
was on the Fourth of July, 1906, and I have not 
been there since. 



With my removal to El Paso began an era of 
prosperity for me which lasted for two or three 

I had "made good" in Houston during the 
short time I was in business for myself there. 
That is, I had laid the foundation for a good 
practice there, but I had not made any money. 
I just about made ends meet and that was all. 
I had demonstrated to my own satisfaction, how- 
ever, that I had the stuff in me to work up and 
hold a good practice if I could only overcome my 

As I sat in the train speeding towards El Paso 
I took an inventory of my various maneuvers up 
to that period and I somewhat reluctantly put 
Houston, along with the rest of my flings at 
"Miss Opportunity," into the scrap heap of my 

With all my roaming about and my numerous 
flings at chance I had one thing of which I was 
justly proud. This was the fact that, although 
I had led a sort of adventurous, free-lance exist- 
ence up to this time, I had not wandered from the 
path of gentlemanly conduct. Although I had 
come in contact with many breeds and types of 
men I remained true to my father's teachings. 
Although I was a great part of the time sur- 
rounded by gamblers and in contact with gam- 



bling, I never gambled. In like manner, with 
every opportunity and every inducement to 
become a drinking man, I was always temperate. 
I drank a glass of beer when I thought it would 
do me good, and at times I drank whiskey; but 
not at any time enough to get under its influence. 
The only reason I did not have a bank account 
and a good practice was because I let wanderlust 
get the best of me. 

I had a good name, professionally, and outside 
of the fact that I was beginning to get the repu- 
tation of being a rover, I had nothing to be 
ashamed of. With a thorough realization of my 
status quo and a firm resolve to become anchored, 
I arrived in El Paso. 

My friend, Doctor Thacher, was happy to see 
me and I was very happy to see that he had 
equipped a neat veterinary infirmary during my 
absence, operating tables, sterilizers, electric den- 
tal machines and other modern appliances not 
omitted. At this point I may remark that many 
of our eastern colleagues would be surprised if 
they could see the numbers of modern, fully 
equipped veterinary hospitals throughout the 
west. Even in many of the small towns one will 
find such institutions frequently. 

My work was cut out for me and began the 
moment I arrived. The practice was a mixed 
practice, horses, mules, cattle and dogs. The lat- 
ter constituted nearly fifty per cent of our 

Like many other people in the north I had the 
impression that mules were practically immune to 


most diseases and conditions which affect the 
horse. This error was soon corrected. I do not 
know of a single condition for which I was ever 
employed to treat horses which I have not also 
found in mules; excepting, of course, conditions 
confined to and resulting from pregnancy in the 
female. Mules with their mammary glands con- 
gested and containing lacteal secretion I saw 
frequently. Cases of pregnancy have been re- 
ported in mules ; I never saw one. 

While I knew our practice here was very large 
and realized that I was working quite hard, I 
did not realize the real worth of the business un- 
til I figured up the day-book at the end of the 
first month. To my great astonishment I found 
that we had done nearly eight hundred dollars 
in total that month. 

Right here I want to bring out a point or 
two: The fees obtained at that time were not 
much short of exorbitant and, thinking back, I 
sometimes wonder how we could get them. Ordi- 
nary dentistry, floating, was regularly three dol- 
lars. If we had to cut off a long enamel point 
with the cutters, we charged a dollar extra. 
"Wolf teeth" were half a dollar each, extra. It 
was nothing unusual to have a total charge of 
five dollars for * 'fixing" a mouth. Night calls 
had a fixed fee of five dollars, even if only a 
few blocks from the office. In a case of flatulent 
colic, tapping was counted as an operation and 
five dollars was added to the service for this per- 

A big revenue was derived at that time from 


the inspection of horses which were shipped 
through El Paso en route to California and Ari- 
zona. These states required veterinary health 
certificates for all horses and mules entering 
there. The charge we made for such inspections 
was ten dollars per car load. For just three or 
four head we charged five dollars. It was a 
rough inspection, all that was required, and usu- 
ally could be done in a few minutes' time. 

For the removal of retained secundines in cows 
the charge was ten dollars. Roaring operations 
were fifty dollars. Country calls were one dol- 
lar per mile. With such fees it was a real pleas- 
ure to work, and I wish I could get them today. 

However, I found that the actual net profit in 
a practice here running seven or eight hundred 
dollars a month, would not be much more than in 
a practice in the old states running three or four 
hundred dollars. Rent and living were very high. 
Drugs cost us big money. Help, feed, bedding, 
everything was high. We had to get big fees to 
make it go. 

We used much printers' ink to get the business 
there in those days. I remember a time when we 
carried a full page advertisement in one of the 
daily papers. This advertisement contained cuts 
of views of our hospital and appeared every Sat- 

The only competition we had here was during 
the winter months when the "lungers" came to 
El Paso. El Paso has quite a reputation as a 
resort for consumptives, the high altitude and dry 
air making it ideal. Usually there was a veteri- 


narian or two among these health-seekers, who 
would do a little light practice. Our only objec- 
tion to that was the fact that they were mostly 
from states where veterinarians worked cheap and 
they interfered with our regular rate of charges, 
working too cheap. 

We frequently were called to Jaurez, on the 
Mexican side of the river, where there was a 
Mexican practitioner. He did very little work, 
however, and did not give us any trouble. Things 
were running along smoothly for me and I soon 
had things well in hand. 

Doctor Thatcher had been giving me practice 
but little attention, being kept busy at his post 
as city bacteriologist. When this did not occupy 
his time he worked at a process for making alcohol 
from a cactus plant which grows thickly in that 
region. By fall of the same year he had per- 
fected a process which was satisfactory and he 
proceeded to organize a company for the purpose 
of erecting a distillery. 

This he carried out successfully and as his time 
was now entirely taken up he wanted to dispose 
of the veterinary practice and he gave me the 
first chance to buy it. This was in November. 
I had now been with him about five months and 
although I had been earning a good salary, I had 
not saved a cent, having used the money as fast 
as I got it to pay some of my debts. 

So, here I was with an opportunity to become 
the owner of a practice which I knew fully and 
which I had handled successfully, but without a 
cent of money to pay for it with. 


After some casting about I was lucky enough 
to find an "angel," as theatrical folks say. He 
was a mining man who frequently spent a few 
hours at our infirmary as a spectator at oper- 

He found the work interesting and when I 
informed him one day that the place was for sale 
he wanted to know why I did not buy it. I told 
him I had no money and why I had none. He 
knew me as a sober, hustling young fellow and 
he also knew the practice was a paying propo- 
sition. After some talk he promised to put his 
money against my work, on the basis of an equal 
interest for each of us. 

This looked good enough to me, at that time, 
and I agreed. We bought the business next day 
for two thousand dollars, my partner paying 
$500 cash, the balance to be paid off at the rate 
of one hundred dollars per month. 

Now I had a half interest in the business, with 
"strings" to it. Today I can see that I did not 
make a good bargain, but at the time I felt pretty 
good over it. 

In the first place, our expense of running this 
place was just about three hundred dollars per 
month. We had to make ten dollars every day 
for the expenses before we had anything for our- 
selves. The way the practice had been running 
this was all right, but I neglected to figure the 
influence which the Doctor's political position 
had given the practice. As soon as we bought 
him out, much of this business fell away, not from 
lack of help on his part, either. 


In the second place, we bought no accounts 
collectible. Literally, we were starting from the 
ground up. It takes some time to get enough 
money on the books to insure a steady inflow of 

Luckily, we had dated the first hundred dollar 
note three months ahead. This gave us a chance 
to get our breath, anyhow. 

The only good stroke I did in this deal was 
shortly before this first note came due. I went to 
the Doctor and asked him how much he would 
take for the fifteen notes in a lump sum. He 
agreed to take twelve hundred and fifty dollars. 
I saw my partner and got him to borrow the 
money, giving in return for it twenty-five fifty 
dollar notes signed by us conjointly and due one 
each month. By doing this I made two hundred 
and fifty dollars for us and at the same time I cut 
the payments in half. We could not have paid 
the hundred dollar notes. Fifty dollars per month 
was bad enough. 

I failed to see at that time that I was really 
working out three-fourths of the price we were to 
pay. My partner paid in five hundred dollars. 
I had to do the work to pay off fifteen hundred. 

At no time after we bought the place did the 
practice run over four hundred and fifty dollars 
a month. One month it was only three hundred. 
My partner was not getting much interest on his 
five hundred dollars and he soon became dis- 
gusted. He even suspected me of juggling the 

I might have remained and fought the thing 


out but my efforts were cut short early the fol- 
lowing spring. In treating a case of puerperal 
infection in a cow I became virulently infected 
and was put out of the running. After several 
months' treatment my physician advised a course 
of water treatment at Hot Springs. I collected 
what bills I could, paid what we owed and sold 
my half interest for two hundred and fifty dol- 
lars, leaving for Hot Springs, Arkansas, the 
same day. 

I had not made any money on this venture but 
I did not lose any, either. I at least paid off a 
few of my debts with my earnings of the first few 
months. When I left El Paso this time I had 
about a hundred and seventy-five dollars in my 
pocket. I bought a ticket to Hot Springs, via 
Fort Worth and Dallas. 

I arrived in Dallas in the evening of the next 
day and could have made immediate connections 
and gone right through to Hot Springs. I 
wanted to see the country, however, and so 
decided to stay in Dallas over night and take an 
early morning train. I left Dallas the next 
morning at half past seven on the "St. Louis 
Cannon Ball," a fast train. 

About ninety miles east of Dallas, just after 
we had passed through a small station called 
Edgewood, the rails spread as we rounded a curve 
heading into a bridge and we had a real wreck. 
I came out with a few scratches and torn clothes, 
for which I collected seventy-five dollars from the 
railroad company when I reached Hot Springs. 
I made myself useful at the scene of the wreck 


by giving first aid to the injured. I was the 
nearest approach to a physician on the train and 
I used up a small supply of emergency hypoder- 
mics which I carried in my grip. 

When I had been at Hot Springs about three 
weeks and had just about spent my few dollars 
for doctor bills and board, I decided to leave and 
take a chance on my recovery. The treatments 
there did not do much for me; they may be all 
right for specific blood poison but my case was 
different. My infection was undoubtedly due to 
streptococci or staphylococci. 

From Hot Springs I went to Little Rock, in 
the same state, and I found it one of the most 
ambitious towns I ever saw. There I met a fine 
veterinarian in the person of a Doctor Merchant 
with whom I became very well acquainted a year 
or two later. I tried to get a position as assistant 
there but could not, and as I saw no other open- 
ing, I left in a day or two for Fort Smith, also in 

Here I met what, to my mind, was one of the 
best all-round practitioners I ever encountered. 
Doctor May was then a young man, but he had 
the delivery of a veteran. And in later years he 
has made good there. 

My money was now all gone and I borrowed 
twenty-five dollars from the Doctor. With this 
I set out for Oklahoma City, where I looked 
around for a day and then took train for El Reno, 
Olahoma. I had a trunk full of books and instru- 
ments with me, and as I only had a few dollars 


left when I got to El Reno, I had to open my 
trunk and look for something to do. 

I got permission to "hang out" at a stable 
called the "Red Barn" and began to look around 
for veterinary work. There was only one veteri- 
narian there and it looked as though I could do a 
little, anyhow. But in two weeks I got only one 
case, and that case I remember well. 

Next to the stable where I "hung out" was 
another stable called the "Blue Barn." In this 
"Blue Barn" a quack "hung out." (Hang out 
and hung out are the only appropriate terms for 
veterinary offices in livery stables.) This quack 
was a good old soul, and he later loaned me some 
money to get out of town. At any rate, he had a 
case which he wanted me to handle for him, and 
that is the one case I got in the two weeks I was 
there. It was a case of necrosis of the tail in 
a fine mare, said to have resulted from keeping 
the tail tied up with a tight leather shoe-lace for 
two or three days during a rainy spell. I ampu- 
tated the tail with a pocket-knife, charged him 
five dollars, and the result was good. 

I left El Reno, leaving my trunk with a few 
books and a dental halter as security for the loan. 
I have never redeemed them. 



During the time that I was engaged in prac- 
tice in El Paso probably twenty-five per cent of 
my work was among the Mexican inhabitants of 
El Paso and the Mexican town of Juarez across 
the river from El Paso. 

While most of the live-stock owned by them 
was an inferior grade of stuff they were not back- 
ward about employing a doctor for them. 

I found the Mexicans very desirable clients. 
They have great faith in medicine and will faith- 
fully follow the doctor's instructions if they have 
confidence in him. 

They pay especial attention to details smack- 
ing of "hocus-pocus" methods; such items, for 
instance, as giving a certain medicine seven times 
a day, or just at a certain hour. Once a doctor 
gets into their favor his success among the lot 
of them is assured; they are lavish and free in 
their praise of him. 

Only in one regard must they be kept in line, 
and that is along money matters. Once they 
understand that you expect your pay promptly 
they will not ask for credit. My rule, except in 
the case of the more well-to-do families, was to 
work for cash only. I never hesitated to inform 
them in advance what the fee would be. In the 
three or four years that I practiced among them 
I lost only a few dollars in bad accounts. 



One had to admire their grit and optimism in 
the face of grave cases of sickness or accident 
among their animals. The most lowly and poor 
among them would not be deterred from sub- 
mitting the case to the doctor even if the fee 
incurred was much beyond their means. If the 
doctor could give them reasonable assurance that 
the result would be good they would invariably 
say, "go to it." 

Among the upper class of Mexicans it was the 
custom of all American practitioners to charge 
excessively high fees; it was not only a custom, 
but a necessity in a way. In fact, should you do 
your work for an ordinary fee the chances are 
they would not employ you again, no matter 
how successful you were. It seems that they 
rated the practitioner's worth according to his 
fee — within sane bounds, of course. 

Say you are called to treat a horse belonging to 
an upper class Mexican — a case of acute indiges- 
tion, for instance, requiring your constant attend- 
ance for four or five hours of the night. If you 
are not a tender-foot, and if you ever expect to 
stand "ace-high" with that "grandee" you will 
send your bill the next morning for one hundred 

I made a trip to Torreon, Mexico, which is 
518 miles below the border, one winter. I had 
been given some inducement by a drug house 
there to locate there for practice. There was no 
veterinarian there and, in all, it was a good prop- 
osition. I was doing fairly well in El Paso, how- 
ever, and after I had gone down and looked the 


field over I decided in favor of El Paso and the 
good old U. S. A. 

Anyhow, while I was down there looking the 
field over I was introduced to a Mexican who 
was conducting a large dairy in a neighboring 
town called Gomez Palacio. When he was 
informed that I was a veterinarian he would not 
leave me until I had promised to come to his town 
to examine one of his cows. He was a fine, gen- 
tlemanly fellow; Jose Sanchez Alvarez was his 
name, and you have since seen his name in news 
items about the Mexican revolution. 

His town was connected to Torreon by an 
electric street car line and I went over early the 
next morning. 

His dairy was a fine establishment, milking 
around 75 cows, and every cow in the place was 
a Holstein. He told me that all his cows were 
bought in the States and that he frequently paid 
$300 to $450 gold for a cow. I knew this before 
he told me, because I had inspected one ship- 
ment that came through El Paso and the owner 
of the shipment informed me that every cow in 
the lot would bring between $300 and $500 in 
gold. This means from $600 to $1,000 Mexican 
money, which will give you a fair idea of how 
they spend their money down there. These cows 
were no purebreds, just good cows. 

When I had been shown all over the establish- 
ment he brought out the cow that I was to exam- 
ine. There was some impediment to respiration 
— a solid enlargement the size of a goose egg in 
the upper tracheal region. Apparently it was a 


fibrous growth, producing the dyspnea by direct 
pressure. As I remember it now, I recommended 
its enucleation. But I did not want the job, 
because the day before I had met a friend in Tor- 
reon who "stood in" with the railroad men; he 
was leaving for El Paso on this day and he 
thought he could work it so that I would get free 
passage home if I went with him. 

So, when Senor Alvarez wanted to know what 
my fee would be for the operation I thought I 
would name a figure so exorbitant that he would 
back down. I told him the operation itself would 
cost him $100, and the after treatment would cost 
him probably another hundred. Without hes- 
itating two seconds he bade me proceed to work 
at once. Here I was "in a pickle"; sure, $200 
was no small sum; but I would have to hang 
around a week or ten days to earn it all. I 
wanted to go home that night with my friend; I 
had decided not to locate in Torreon anyhow, 
and I wanted to get back on the job in El Paso. 
That was always my style : — now or never, whole 
loaf or none. I was like a mule in that respect; 
you might have offered me the governorship of 
the state of Coahuila, if I had to stay there longer 
than the hour for that night train I would have 
refused the job and all the graft that went with it. 

But here I stood ; Alvarez had taken me up on 
my own figures. And, by George, he was so nice 
and gentlemanly about it! But I had made up 
my mind to hike for home that night, and there 
was some mule in me, you know. I fixed it up 
like this : 


"All right, sir; but, in order to be able to make 
the dissection without endangering the life of the 
cow by death from hemorrhage, we must use 
chloroform anesthesia. The danger of accident- 
ally wounding either the carotid artery or the 
jugular vein is exceedingly great in the region in 
which the tumor lies; to reduce this danger to a 
minimum we will resort to the chloroform 
anesthesia with the object of making sudden 
jerky head movements impossible. 

"But, to obtain the best and most smooth 
results with chloroform we must enforce a fast of 
twenty-four hours on the patient. I will be here 
tomorrow at this time to operate." 

This looked O. K. to his highness, and we 

If that cow gets nothing to eat until I arrive 
to perform that operation she is pretty hollow by 
this time. And really, it was a pretty low-down 
trick on my part! But then, I wanted to get 
back to the States, and there was some mule in 
me, you know. 

I left that night with my friend. And the joke 
of it was that his "pull" was no good on the train; 
we had to pay our fare just the same as the rest 
of the passengers. But I didn't care; I was head- 
ing for the good old U. S. A., and that was good 
enough for me. 

What I wanted to illustrate by this incident is 
that you can't scare the "high-ups" in Mexico 
with a $100 fee on a cow case. 

In the interior of Mexico I saw a type of horse 
quite frequently which I have never seen any- 


where else. These horses somewhat resemble the 
English thoroughbred, but they are smaller and 
have even finer bone. They are game to the core, 
and no better saddle horses could be desired. 
They are said to be the offspring of some of the 
old Spanish breeds which were brought to Mexico 
centuries ago. 

The average Mexican horse is a small, 
scrawny, nondescript sort of nag, always in poor 
flesh and usually full of 
spavines, ringbones and 
other blemishes. 

The common man's 
horse in Mexico is not a 
horse at all but the burro. 
They sell for from five 
dollars to thirty or forty 
dollars, depending on 
They are said to be the off- their size and work-abil- 

spring of some of the old ., ml -,. , 

Spanish breeds ity. The ordinary burro 

of about the size of the 
average Shetland pony will carry a pack weigh- 
ing around 250 pounds all day. They are used 
mostly for packing; only occasionally are they 
worked in harness. 

The burro seems to be immune to all diseases; 
it is a rare thing to see a lame one, even. They 
reach a great age and are part and parcel of 
Mexico; I can not imagine Mexico without the 

Another class of patronage that I enjoyed in 
El Paso was that of the Chinese. El Paso har- 
bors a Chinese quarter numbering around 500 


souls, and the Rio Grande valley below El Paso 
is populated by them in considerable numbers. 
In the city they conduct mostly stores, restau- 
rants, laundries, etc. In the valley they pursue 
truck gardening, raising most of the vegetables 
used in the city. Quite a number of them own a 
few horses ; they are about the poorest horsemen 
imaginable and employ veterinarians regularly. 
Their faith in medicine and in the art of healing 
is even greater than that of the Mexicans; they 
obey the doctor's instructions implicitly and are 
most appreciative of good service and attention. 
On top of this they are absolutely honest, paying 
their bills promptly and generously; white folks 
can well afford to take lessons from John China- 
man in this respect. The only bad part about 
him is the fact that he is a prosperity killer; he 
takes in more than he gives out. In fact, aside 
from emergency expenses, he spends so little 
money for his own subsistence, clothing, etc., that 
white folks cannot compete with him in any line 
of business he undertakes. 

Only in one regard must I modify this state- 
ment, and that is in regard to his gaming pro- 
clivities. Most Chinamen of my acquaintance 
were confirmed gamblers. However, as they 
gamble chiefly among themselves, no one outside 
of their clan profits by it. 

I have seen one, now and then, take a whirl at 
roulette during the big fiesta in Juarez, but 
unless they make a lucky play to begin with they 
don't stick long. And, come to think of it, the 
one and only time that I can remember of a 


Chinaman trying a dishonest trick was at a rou- 
lette table. He had placed a chip on a corner 
and tried to shove it on the whole number when 
the wheel stopped ; the caller caught him at it. 

I remember a most amusing incident that hap- 
pened in connection with my practice among the 
Chinese in the Rio Grande Valley. 

With all of them pulling on the rope we "flopped him over," and 
up he jumped 

A rich Chinese gardener there sent for me for 
the purpose of having me treat a horse at his 
farm, eight miles down the valley. When I 
arrived at the place I found a pretty good look- 
ing horse lying flat on his side and ten or twelve 
Chinese lads standing in a circle around him. 
The horse had been down flat since early morning 
at least ; when one of the Chinks went to give him 


his breakfast he found him down and they had 
been unable to make him get up. They told me 
he had not seemed sick in the evening before and, 
while they only owned him a few days, he had 
never given any trouble. One Chinese boy told 
me, however, that he was quite lame on one hind 
leg, but he could not say which one. I looked 
him over a little closer then and I saw he had a 
big spavin on the under leg. As the fellow says, 
"I saw a light then." 

Knowing the Chinese awe for "hocus-pocus 
stuff" I thought I would have a little fun out of 
this job. (Mind you, my charge for this eight 
mile trip was eight dollars ; you may be sure they 
tried hard to get him up before calling me. ) 

Taking my side-line I first laid it over him in 
such a manner that it formed a circle over his 
side, mumbling at the same time a few words like 
"foramen laeerum basis cranii," and allowing the 
rope to remain in the coiled position for a minute, 
by the watch. Taking it off now I fastened one 
end to a hind and a front leg and told the Chinese 
boys "Now, alright," and with all of them pulling 
on the rope we "flopped him over;" and up he 

The clash of Chinese tongues that followed 
immediately was something great. The boss 
Chinaman wanted me to tell him those words I 
had to say to make it work and to show him just 
how to coil the rope. 



As I have related previously, when a physician 
advised me to go to Hot Springs, Ark., in the 
spring of 1907, I sold my interest in the El Paso 
Veterinary Hospital and went. The treat- 
ments at Hot Springs did not benefit me a great 
deal, and it is my opinion that the baths are not 
indicated in such infections as the one I was suf- 
fering from; they are too debilitating. With an 
infection of the pus producing organisms, such as 
I had, this debilitating effect of the baths is really 
detrimental ; at least, it was in my case. 

However, I continued to take the baths as pre- 
scribed by the physician until I was sure that my 
condition was not improving; and at about the 
same time my money sack was getting rather flat. 
I concluded then that I was losing at both ends 
and decided to move on. 

This decision, to move on, was easily arrived 
at; but where to move on to was not so easy to 

I had sold my practice and had spent the few 
dollars I got for it. I was now over a thousand 
miles from home, among strangers, and with not 
enough money left to pay for painting a good 
"shingle," not to mention equipping an office. 

So there was nothing left for me to do but to 
"hit the road." As I have previously related; 
from Hot Springs I went to Little Rock, 



where I tried to get on as assistant to some veteri- 
narian, but was not successful. However, old 
Dr. Merchant advised me to go to Fort Smith, 
where he was quite sure I would find an opening 
with Dr. May. 

Arrived at Fort Smith I immediately applied 
to that gentleman for a position. While he had 
no opening for me just then he was good enough 
to give me permission to do a little work for him, 
enough to enable me to get a few dollars ahead. 
I did not care to do this, upon which the doctor 
made me a loan of $25.00, saying I could pay him 
back when I could do so conveniently. 

He sure was a regular good fellow. 

With this money I left for Oklahoma City, 
thinking that I might find something to do there, 
but the town already had more veterinarians than 
it required and none of them cared to hire me. 
The town was too large to "work," and so I 
decided to go to El Reno. 

My experiences in El Reno I have told in a 
previous article. Up until this time I had trod 
a tolerable straight and narrow path profession- 
ally considering the time and the customs in 
the Southwest, but now financial pressure due to 
my illness and the resulting expensive treatment 
at Hot Springs deflected me in not a few 
instances from the paths of professional conduct 
that I would have chosen under easier circum- 

Leaving El Reno I travel south over the Rock 
Island road, stopping off at every town along the 
route and with one or two exceptions from twelve 


to twenty-four hours was the length of my stay 
in any place. 

When I could get absolutely no veterinary 
work to do in a town I would sell the local black- 
smith or horse-shoer some of by "corn killer." 
This corn killer stunt I learned from a veteri- 
narian in Arkansas and it was a winner with the 
blacksmiths. It consists of a few crystals of 
iodin and a small vial of turpentine. When the 
corn in the horse's foot has been thoroughly pared 
out a few of the iodin crystals are placed in the 
cavity and a few drops of the turpentine poured 
on it. A miniature explosion occurs and the 
entire area in the foot turns a dark brown color 
at once. It really has value as a dessicant and 
antiseptic, as the resulting chemical change forces 
the iodin into every crevice of the horn. 

The miniature explosion which occurs, border- 
ing on the spectacular, makes it a good seller to 
horse-shoers. I would sell them enough for about 
three applications and then write down the ingre- 
dients for them, charging whatever I thought the 
fellow would stand for; if he looked like an "easy 
mark" I might charge him a five spot, making 
him promise on his honor never to divulge the 
secret. Maybe in the next town, if I could do no 
better, I would sell the same "secret" for one 

So if there are some practitioners in Oklahoma 
now who are wondering where their blacksmiths 
got this dope they may know that the Itinerant 
Horse Physician "put them wise to it." 

In many of these Oklahoma towns where no 
veterinarians had located as yet I was asked to 


treat cases of exceptional interest, most of them 
being chronic conditions requiring surgical inter- 

One of the commonest abnormalities which I 
was given an opportunity to treat was extreme 
volar flexion of the fetlock joint in anterior 
limbs. Why this condition came to my attention 
so frequently I can not explain; however, in the 
thirty-odd towns I stopped in on this route I was 
shown at least fifteen or twenty such cases. 

Some I endeavored to correct by performing 
tenotomy; others were advised variously for 
treatment or noninterference. What the result 
was in any case I am, of course, unable to say as I 
did not remain long enough in any particular 
vicinity to witness the outcome. 

Another condition which I met with excep- 
tional frequency was fistula of the withers, and 
some of the "rottenest" cases of this condition 
in my whole experience as a veterinarian I saw in 
that country. The regular treatment for this con- 
dition among the quacks and horse- jockeys there 
seemed to be a certain manner of filling the 
horse's ears with ground glass. 

When I was making this trip there seemed to 
be a mania among the people down there for cut- 
ting the membrana nictitans out of their horses' 
eyes. I would feel safe to wager a good sum of 
money that there are more horses in Oklahoma 
and parts of Texas minus this part of their anat- 
omy than there are in any other part of the world. 

The condition for which they perform this 
operation is called "hooks"; just what "hooks" 
originally signified I have not been able to learn. 


At the time I was sojourning there "hooks" was 
almost anything which defied the diagnostic skill 
of the quack or the jockey. If a horse or a mule 
was ailing for a time and the usual dosage with 
Harlem oil or "punkin seed tea" did not fix him 
up he was charged with having the "hooks," and 
condemned to have his nictitating membrane cut 
out or extracted. 

Speaking of "punkin seed tea" reminds me 
that in those parts this seemed to be the popular 
colic remedy. When "punkin seed tea" failed 
there was only one other hope for the patient. 
This last hope was a dose of fresh chicken guts. 
A chicken was hastily caught and killed and the 
horse drenched with the "guts" while they were 
yet warm. 

To northern and eastern practitioners this 
sounds like a regular "made-up" story, I know. 
But Oklahoma and Texas practitioners will ver- 
ify the truth of my statements. 

In one of these towns I was requested to treat 
two cases of open navicular or coffin joints. The 
patients had picked up street nails and the local 
quack had enlarged the openings, for drainage, 
with a brace and bit. In both cases he bored a 
half -inch hole directly into the joint. 

In another chapter I submit evidence to prove 
that half the quacks in practice should be hanged 
and the other half put in jail. Do you wonder 
that I believe it? 

In one town a farmer took me out to his place 
to show me a sick mare. He said his "veteri- 
nary," who was a quack, had been treating the 
mare for about a week without doing much good. 



He said he was mighty glad I just ''happened" 
in because he had heard that some of these col- 
lege "veterinaries" was smart fellers in some 
things. "Old Doc," as he called the quack, was 
pretty good, he thought, seeing as how he just 
picked "horse-docterin" up all by himself; but, 
somehow, in this case he didn't think "old Doc" 
was hardly smart enough. I asked him what sort 
of diagnosis "old Doc" had made of the case. 

"Well," said my 
new-found friend, 
"he says the colt is 
foundered i n t h e 
mare." I asked the 
farmer whether 
"old Doc" used an 
x-ray outfit to ar- 
rive at his diagno- 
sis; he said not so 
far as he knew. 

When we got to 
the place I found a 
pretty good sort of 
a mare, heavy in 
foal, with a rupture 
of the prepubian 
tendon ; her abdo- 
men was on a level with her hocks. 

I advised the farmer in regard to giving proper 
assistance at time of foaling and described the 
exact condition he would find in the event that 
the mare should not survive the ordeal of parturi- 
tion. I did the latter so that he might be able to 
"show up" the quack, which I am sure he did, if 
the mare died. He was one of those "long- 

With A/zee /,• Hl5 sre AHo I # er 

OLO DOC" Q-oT JW5 ,M Pofi M4TlorJ 


horns," with fire in his eye, and I bet "old Doc" 
got some information he didn't want. 

In the same town, while I was at the depot 
waiting for the train, another farmer told me 
about a cow this same "old Doc" treated for him. 
The cow died, after "old Doc" had "worked on 
her" all day, from "Blue Fever" he said. The 
farmer described the case to me in detail, and if 
ever a description was given of a typical case of 
parturient paresis he gave it. 

In one town I visited in Oklahoma near the 
Texas line I met an old quack who wanted to buy 
my diploma. He said that he had all the knowl- 
edge he or any horse doctor would ever require; 
all he wanted now was a diploma. I asked him 
how much he would be willing to pay for one. 
"Oh," he says, "I wouldn't mind spending five 
dollars on a thing like that." 

I told him he could probably buy two or three 
good ones for five dollars from some colleges I 
knew and I gave him the names of a college for 
tonsorial artists and a college of elocution. I 
don't know how it ended. 

An item of interest on this trip was the variety 
of peculiar "hangouts" some of the practitioners 

In one town on inquiring the whereabouts of 
the local veterinarian I was referred to a second- 
hand store. There I found the honorable "Doc" 
dealing in second-hand furniture and stoves 
between calls. He had no sign displayed which 
would attract attention to his "curing" ability, 
other than a collection of extracted horse teeth 
and bottles full of "bots" and other specimens. 


These were carefully arranged in one front win- 
dow along with a large rectal syringe and a 
mouth speculum. 

In another town the local horse physician had 
his "office" in a barber shop. 

In still another a small cigar factory harbored 
the "bot specialist." 

But the fellow whom I located in a small 
brewery had the best headquarters of all; and 
from the beautiful mixture of scarlet and Yale 
blue mingling in the epidermis of his nose I 
judged that he wasn't letting any chance go by 
to test the brew between calls. 

One other odd headquarters for a "Doc" which 
I remember seeing there was in a photographer's 

When I asked this quack why he had selected 
a photograph gallery for his "hangout" he said, 
"I done it to help elevate the perfession. It gives 
a man more prestige." 

I recommended a padded cell for him. 

One other interesting feature in connection 
with this part of my wanderings appertained to 
the peculiar "side-lines" which some of these 
practitioners had. 

One of them sold sewing machines "on the 

Another was a loan-shark on a small scale. 
He made a practice of loaning small sums to 
niggers, charging in the neighborhood of ten per 
cent a week interest. When a nigger came to 
borrow ten dollars from him he gave him only 
nine, holding out the $1.00 interest in advance. 
At the time I met this quack he had around two 


hundred dollars loaned out in small sums in this 
manner. He seemed to feel quite proud over his 
financial engineering ability and although I was 
practically a stranger to him he did not hesitate 
to explain his scheme to me. Every dollar he 
could squeeze out of his veterinary practice he 
loaned out on this plan. 

If he had been proportionately as successful in 
the veterinary end as he was in his money loaning 
scheme he would have had J. P. Morgan backed 
off the board in a few years' time. 

Still another of these quacks I met was a real 
estate agent on the side, and another put in his 
spare time as an insurance solicitor. 

One quack I met was the king of quackdom; 
he was not only a quack veterinarian, he was 
also a quack druggist and a quack spectacle 

One little "sawed-off" quack I bumped into on 
this trip made a side-line of supplying the wives 
of his clients with a "female regulator." He put it 
up in eight-ounce bottles selling for $1.00 and 
confided to me that his profit per bottle was 
around ninety-two cents. 

One quack I met below the Texas line on this 
trip was a professional gambler! He pursued 
the veterinary game only when luck was against 
him and then just long enough to get a stake to 
begin to gamble on again. 

In that day and time a remark that I once 
heard a veterinarian make fitted Oklahoma to a 
T : "Every darn fool that can't claim knowledge 
of anything else claims to know all about sick 



I went from El Reno to Chickasha, then in 
Indian Territory, and "worked" every town on 
the Rock Island road from there to Henrietta, 
Texas, and on the new railroad through Wichita 
Falls to Abilene, Texas. 

And a great experience it was, indeed. Chick- 
asha I found to be the toughest town I ever was 
in excepting Pocatello, Idaho. I had not yet 
seen Pocatello, Idaho, so Chickasha stood first in 
the list of hard places with me then. Up to that 
time I had never seen a greater aggregation of 
"tough-mugs" than there in Chickasha. I 
earned one dollar there between trains, a period 
of a few hours. There was more work "in sight" 
but I did not care to stay over night in a cheap 
hotel in that town then. Apologies to Chickasha 
if it has improved since that time, as it no doubt 
has. In the other towns between there and the 
Texas line, I picked up enough money to pay my 
expenses. My first move in getting off the train 
in these towns was to look up the livery stables. 
Here I could usually get a mouth to fix or a case 
of lameness to prescribe for. This done, I usually 
looked up the horseshoers; these fellows could 
usually put me on the trail of a cripple or two 
and as soon as I had five or six dollars made, I 
would make a move for the next town. In this 
way, although I was a tramp veterinarian, I 



could always ride first-class trains. In all my 
roving about, I always "rode the cushions." 

Over the entire route from El Reno to the 
Texas line, I did not find one graduate veteri- 
narian. At one place in Indian Territory, called 
Durant, I met a correspondence school chap who 
was a pretty bright fellow and he had a nice little 
practice. I stopped over night with him and 
found him a good man. He was pretty well 
informed and, I presume, made some money 

When I got as far as Wichita Falls, Texas, I 
began to feel my health improving rapidly. I 
stayed over night in Wichita Falls, intending to 
leave on the first train next morning; but when 
I got to the depot the next morning, the train 
was marked several minutes late. Just across 
from the depot I saw a livery stable and I went 
in and told them who and what I was and that I 
had just about twenty minutes in which to do a 
little work for them. 

Sure! I was just the fellow they were looking 
for. In less than two minutes I was examining a 
bad case of sweeney; in another two or three 
minutes I had both shoulders injected with satu- 
rated salt solution, was paid three dollars for my 
trouble and had just time enough to walk back to 
the depot, buy my ticket and board the train for 
the next town. This was all I did in Wichita 
Falls. The town was a little too large for my 
kind of procedure, so I did not try for much. 
The towns which are good soil for such fellows 


as I was at that time are the real small towns of 
a few hundred population. 

One thing which I learned in the south and 
southwest was that one could do almost any oper- 
ation or give almost any treatment to a horse 
without spending much time in tying them up or 
throwing them. With a good twitch on the nose 
I have performed in the standing position, oper- 
ations which, on the vigorous horses of the north, 
I would never attempt. The horses in the south 
did not have the nerve that our northern horses 

My first stop south of Wichita Falls was a new 
town named Monday. It was a nice little place 
on the new railroad and should be quite a place by 
this time. The day after I arrived there was the 
monthly stock and cattle market, a regular 
jockey day. Or rather, this came on Monday; I 
arrived Saturday evening. 

As soon as I got off the train I looked around 
for a livery stable. I had not walked very far 
when I noticed a bill stuck up on a telegraph post 
stating that two veterinarians, whose names I do 
not remember, would be on hand Monday to treat 
all diseases of horses in a scientific manner, etc., 
etc. I walked another block or so to the livery 
stable, and there I saw another card tacked up. 
Dr. So and So would also be there Monday to do 
some scientific treating. 

Counting myself, this made four of us; all, I 
presume, ready to cut prices and each other's 
throats, if necessary. I did not care much about 
staying there after seeing those signs. I sup- 


posed, of course, that all of them were regular 
callers there, and that they would probably get 
all the business. 



But I could not get away very well. I came 
in Saturday night with only three or four dollars 


in my pocket. There were no trains running on 
Sunday ; I had to stay. When Monday morning 
came, I just had to do some business. My bill 
at the hotel was over two dollars, and the fare to 
the next town amounted to more than I would 
have left after paying the hotel bill. 

So I stayed and faced the music. Two of the 
advertising veterinarians were a couple of old 
quacks whom I had heard of before. They trav- 
eled about in a covered wagon and were genuine 
fakers. The other was a harmless old quack who 
sold a book he had written on "Horse Doctoring" 
and confined his work to making a spiel while 
standing on the seat of his buggy. 

When I saw what my competitors for the day 
were like, I felt better. I began to walk around 
among the people, handing out my cards and say- 
ing a good word for myself. There were quite a 
few people on hand and more were constantly 
coming in. The cards which I was passing 
around had my name printed on them, giving my 
address as El Reno, Oklahoma. Below my name 
was the statement that I had formerly been 
assistant to the State Veterinarian of Texas and 
also veterinarian in the United States Bureau of 
Animal Industry. 

This was true, and it carried well. I am sure 
that these cards saved the day for me. I was a 
young, "kiddish" appearing fellow, and would 
have had little chance against the grizzled, expe- 
rienced looking quacks who were there. I knew 
that if I got a chance at a single case I could 
make them "go way back and sit down." But 


my immature appearance was against me ; there- 
fore, I will always believe that those cards opened 
the way. 

There was not much veterinary work done 
there that day, but as near as I could tell, I got 
all that was there. For three hours I fixed horses' 

"I never use a mouth speculum, but pass one of my hands into the 
mouth and feel of every tooth" 

teeth; one horse after another, just as fast as I 
could. I know that the greater part of that time 
those quacks were standing around in the crowd, 
looking at my performance. Dentistry was one 
thing I could do at that time, and I had a few 
knacks up my sleeve which always created aston- 


ishment. I never use a mouth speculum, but pass 
one of my hands into the mouth and feel of every 
tooth. Most wolf-teeth I can extract with my 
fingers and frequently do the same with split or 
broken teeth which have become loosened. ^ 

On this day, the first horse that was brought to 
me had a long shell of a molar which had been 
split through the middle and which stood out 
against the cheek. I could see that it was quite 
loose and could be snapped out with the fingers, 
I opened the horse's mouth so that the ten or 
twenty spectators could see the tooth and I took 
the time to give each of them a good look at it ; it 
really looked quite formidable. When all had 
seen it, I reached in with my bare hand and 
yanked the thing out. That was enough for 
them; for three hours I fixed horse after horse. 
And the quacks looked on. 

Towards noon it got extremely hot, about the 
hottest day I ever experienced. I had earned 
enough money for one day; I bought myself a 
big, juicy watermelon and sat down in the shade 
of a big wagon and ate the whole melon. Next I 
paid my hotel bill, and then I bought a ticket 
right through to Abilene, on the main line of the 
Texas & Pacific Railway and at the end of a new 
railroad I had been following. 

Abilene was then a town of about eight thou- 
sand people; and a real good town, too. I had 
three or four dollars left when I got there and 
my first move was to inquire whether there were 
any veterinarians in practice there. At a drug 


store I was informed that there was one "hanging 
out" at Holme's stable, and thither I went. 

Arriving at the stable, I was directed to a 
blacksmith shop in the rear; there I found my 
man. He was under a horse, tacking on a shoe. 


To my question about the whereabouts of the vet- 
erinary surgeon, he answered that he was the 
party. He was very glad to meet me, as he had 
often heard about me, he said, while I was located 
in El Paso. 

He stated that he was helping out the black- 
smith, who was sick, and that he had intended to 
take the shop off his hands as his practice was not 
paying. He told me he was a graduate of a 
Michigan school. I knew at once that this was 
not true. He was a quack; one of those quacks 
who imagine themselves at the head of the veter- 
inary profession and constantly rave about 
quacks and quackery. I have met two or three 
of this kind, and they are usually pretty foxy 
fellows. Just the same, he was a good sort. 
When I told him I might stay in his town a while 
he became interested. He suggested that we 
form a partnership and gather up some "quick 
money," as he called it. He said there were lots 
of cases of "heavy surgery" about the country, 
cases which he had not had the time to fix up. 

Well, I was down and out; and as I had 
decided to remain in Abilene a while, anyhow, I 
thought I might just as well have the fellow with 
me as against me. I agreed to go in with him; 
and he was the happiest fellow you ever saw. We 
rented an office before night, had cards printed 
and began business. We divided everything 
equally and at the end of two months I had saved 
about seventy-five dollars out of my share. 

Those two months were the most interesting, 
and at the same time the most care-free, I ever 


spent in my life. My partner was a most inter- 
esting character, and between him and the people 
we worked for I had a real circus. 

When a fellow came along with a horse to be 
"worked on," as they call it down there, my part- 
ner always took him in hand first. When he 
could not convince the fellow that his horse 
needed some "heavy surgery," to cost maybe 
twenty dollars, he would call to me, "Here, Doc; 
talk scientific t3 this fellow." Then I would 
tackle him ; and usually we landed him. 

This quack was a remarkable man in more 
ways than one. Though nearly sixty years old, 
he was as spry as I at that time, and he had the 
record of being a real terror in a fight. He was a 
"handy guy" at any fighting game and, even at 
his age, would rather fight than anything else. 
When dressed up, he was a fine looking man. He 
really had the stuff in him to do something worth 
while. At the forge he was a wonder. I have in 
my possession today a molar extractor which he 
forged by hand in the blacksmith shop, and it is 
my best instrument. But the discription of my 
practice with "Doc" Asa, for that was his name, 
is worthy of a chapter in itself. 



Whoa ! Hold on there with that mule ! Ain't 
you got sense enough to see we're doing some 

heavy surgery 
here? Some 
of you gosh 
danged farm- 
ers don't know 

This out- 
burst of right- 
eous wrath 
came from my 
partner, D r. 
Asa, and the 
object o f h i s 
wrath was a 
long, gauky, 
cotton farmer 
who had the in- 
tention of hav- 
ing a "sween- 
eyed" mule 
"worked o n," 
being in the act 
of leading the 
mule into our 
unpretenti o u s 
infirmary when 
m y partner's 


wrath burst out. My partner called the infirm- 
ary the infirmatory; he, my partner I mean, had 
not had a very generous education, either gen- 
eral or veterinary; so please be easy on his "tech- 
nical terms." 

When Dr. Asa was doing "heavy" surgery 
which was his term for major surgery, he would 
insult his best friend if he so much as ventured a 
suggestion of any sort. If no one made any sort 
of suggestions bearing on the operation he would 
invariably vent his spleen on the first party to 
intrude on the field of maneuvering. If it hap- 
pened to be a long horn farmer, or a "hill-billie," 
as Dr. Asa called them, he would continue his 
first outburst with a running talk somewhat as 
follows : 

"Gosh darned funny some people can't learn 
nothin'; seems to me everybody ought to know 
that by their gosh darned movin' around they stir 
up enough micromes to put the tetanic disease in 
a surgery case. Especially these gosh darned 
rubes with their heavy walkin'; they jar the 
buildin' enough so as to kill any surgery case 
with the shock. And then the darn fool has a 
notion to drag a mule in yit; never see no such 
gosh darned fools as growed up around here." 
And so he kept on until something else switched 
his wrath onto some other object or person. 

To me these wrathful broadsides of the old 
quack were worth a circus; I was only a few 
years out of college at the time and I could 
always get a good "inside" laugh on these occa- 


The "heavy" surgery case off his hands, Dr. 
Asa proceeded to "work on" the sweeneyed mule. 
But not before an argument with the farmer on 
the name "sweeney" had been gone through. The 
farmer wanted to know why the condition was 
called sweeney. Dr. Asa informed him that it 
was not called "sweeney" where he came from 
(Michigan) ; there in Michigan they called it 
shoulder aterphy, he said. How anybody could 
call the condition "sweeney" was more than he 
could understand, he said; why, what was 
"sweeney" but an Irishman's name anyhow, and 
couldn't the farmer see that he was entirely 
wrong? This was old Dr. Asa every time; no 
matter how plain the case, or how right the 
farmer, Dr. Asa always attempted to show him 
that he was "way off" before he did anything for 
the animal. Sometimes the argument got so hot 
that the owner of the animal left in disgust; at 
other times Dr. Asa would chase him away for 
being "too smart." "If you know so gosh darned 
much about it," he would say, "what the dickens 
you coming around here for to have me fix your 
horse up?" 

At the time of which I write there were not 
over twenty-five graduate veterinarians in prac- 
tice in the whole state of Texas, and some of the 
"stunts" enacted in the name of veterinary 
science were well worth seeing. 

But let us return to the cotton-farmer with the 
"sweeneyed" mule. Dr. Asa apparently con- 
vinced him that sweeney was a name to be men- 


tioned only in the dark, and that a rowel must be 
inserted to cure the "aterphy." 

When the seton was in place the farmer wanted 
to know how much his bill came to. "Five dol- 
lars," said Dr. Asa. 

"Five dollars!" yelled the farmer. "Smoking 
cat-fish, five dollars for a little job like that? 
Why, man, I could done that just as well myself 
if I only had the tools." 

"Look a here, Mister," says Dr. Asa, "Don't 
you start no rough talk around here, 'cause I'm 
perfessional, and I won't stand for it. My part- 
ner here (meaning me) is a scientific graduate, 
and he can tell you that I done you a scientific 
piece of work. Your bill is five dollars and you 
got to pay it. And what's more, you got to pay 
it right now" 

I began to look around for a place to duck 
under ; in those days, in that country, arguments 
of that sort usually were dangerous for the "inno- 
cent bystander." 

"I'll be hung before I pay you five dollars for 
that job," says the farmer. "You can sue me for 
it, and see if you get it." With that he began 
to walk away with the mule. 

"Hold on there, you skinner," yells old Doc 
Asa, and at the same time he makes a jump for 
the mule's head. He had a knife in his hand and 
I feared I was going to witness a cutting match. 
But I was wrong; the old fellow's program was 
entirely different. With a quick slash he had cut 
through the seton and with the same movement 
jerked it out. 



"There," he says, "now take your darned mule 
away from here before I start something." 
The farmer lost no time in getting away with 



his mule, either. Old Dr. Asa, though in his 
fifties, had a reputation as a scrapper in any 
form, shape or manner. Knives, guns, fists or 


feet, the old fellow was any younger man's equal. 
It has always been a wonder to me that he could 
live in that country as long as he did. He had 
been there six years when I went into partner- 
ship with him. 


I had been with Dr. Asa a couple of weeks and 
aside from a few little "misunderstandings" we 
were getting along fine. These little "misunder- 
standings" arose from the fact that Asa would 
never make a call alone ; he always insisted on my 
accompanying him. I tried to argue with him 
that there was no advantage in a partnership 
conducted on those lines, because the two of us 
could do no more than one man alone. Nearly 
every time we made a call together we lost money 
by missing a job or two that came to the office 
while we were gone. I tried to show him that if 
one of us would "hang around" the office we 
could get all the business. But he would not see 
it my way. The only reason for his attitude on 
this point that I could ever figure out was that 
the old scoundrel feared I might "double-cross" 
him in some way. 

We kept no books on the partnership and 
"squared up" after every job we did, each 
receiving half of all money taken in. When rent 
was due, or a drug bill had to be paid, each of us 
reached in our pocket for half the amount. 

One reason for this way of keeping our 
finances straight was that both of us were "hard 
up." The other reason was that we did not trust 
each other; that's a fact. Asa feared I was too 


smooth for him because I was a college graduate, 
and I feared Asa was too cunning for me because 
he was a foxy old quack. 

Anyhow, Asa kept on dragging me around on 
his calls, and after a time he got so that he 
depended on me a great deal. He got so that he 
would depend on me to carry thermometers, 
trocars, hypos and other utilities; he knew I 
usually kept these in my pockets and he soon 
acquired the habit of leaving his things in the 

When we arrived on the scene of trouble he 
would say to me, "Doc, take his fever with that 
there thermometry of yourn." 

When he had diagnosed the case and received 
my confirmation of the findings he would say, 
"Well, Doc, shoot the hypo to him;" which meant 
for me to do whatever I thought ought to be 

One night after I had gone to bed a call came 
from a rancher about eight miles north of town. 
Dr. Asa wanted me to accompany him on the 
trip as usual, but I played sick and refused to 
go. He stuck around for at least a quarter of an 
hour trying to induce me to go with him, but I 
remained firm and refused to be induced. Fin- 
ally he left, and I went back to sleep. It seemed 
to me that I had been sleeping only a short time 
when I was awakened by Dr. Asa calling my 
name. When I looked up I saw him feeling 
through my vest pockets, cussing a string of 
cuss-words the while. "You're a fine graduate, 
you are," he yells at me, "let a feller drive eight 


miles to a colic with no trocar. And when I gets 
there the gosh-darned plug is bloated like a circus 
balloon. Had she been a cow I might a knived 
her, but you know we can't do no such surgery 
on the equi specials. Come on out of that there 
bed now and go along back with me; we got to 

Well, I looked at my watch and saw that it 
would soon be daylight anyhow, so I jumped 
into my clothes and rode along back to the poor 
nag waiting to be stabbed with the trocar, eight 
miles away. 

From the description Dr. Asa gave me of the 
case as it was when he left it I judged that the 
rancher would probably be digging the grave 
when we arrived. Dr. Asa did not think so, 
because he had given the horse a big dose of 
peppermint and belladonna, his favorite colic 
cure; he was sure this would keep him going 
until the trocar could be gotten. 

When we were getting close to the ranch house 
Asa began to run the horse he was driving and 
we flew into that yard like a Chicago fire depart- 
ment, taking off a rod or two of poultry wire 
from the hen yard before Asa got the control of 
the fifth wheel after making the turn into the 

I could see no one anywhere about when we 
made our flying entrance and I was sure the 
patient had died. To one side of the barn there 
was a small mesquite grove and toward this grove 
Asa now steered our horse. As we got up close 


I saw the rancher sitting on the ground and the 
sick horse lay a few yards farther in the grove. 

Jumping out of the buggy, trocar in hand, Asa 
yells at the rancher, "Didn't I tell you to keep 
him up ? What in blazes you want to let him lay 
around like that for?" The rancher answered 
not a word but he appeared to be very much 
amused about something or other. 

•When Asa got close to the patient he says: 
"There now, you see, you went and let him die. 
I told you to keep him up. But we'll tap him 
anyhow." With that he shoved the instrument 
into the dead horse's flank and began a lecture on 
the operation of tapping. When no more gas 
came through the canula he pulled it out and told 
the rancher he owed us ten dollars. 

I began to move over to the place where our 
horse was tied and untied him ; I feared we might 
have to make a fire-run out of that yard and I 
wanted to be ready. 

But in a few minutes Asa and the rancher 
came out of the grove and Asa handed me Hve 
silver dollars, my share of the fee. 

As far as I could see everybody thought every- 
thing was O. K. 



One day as I was returning from a visit to a 
neighboring town my partner, Dr. Asa, met me 
at the depot. He appeared considerably wrought 
up about something and the way he welcomed me 
back would have given one the impression that I 
had been away for several months instead of a 

"Gee whiskers, Doc," he says, "glad you came 
back so quick; there is big competition in town! 
A guy blowed in this morning and he is throwing 
bills around which says he is here to stay. We 
got to get busy an' scare him out." In our walk 
from the depot to the office, I got a look at the 
"big competition," and the description suited him 
all right. He was one of the biggest men I have 
ever seen, and if size made competition, he was 
the whole thing, without question. I tried to 
calm Dr. Asa's fears by various remarks about 
size from all unfavorable points of view but he 
would not be calmed; he said he was somewhat 
acquainted with the big fellow and knew him to 
be the most unscrupulous competitor imaginable. 
Later I found this to be true, and in all my 
travels I met only one quack who was this big 
fellow's equal in all the tricks of quackery. On 
this occasion he began his campaign with an 
indirect personal attack on Dr. Asa by passing 
out cards which read: 



Dr. C. W. Neok 
Veterinary Surgeon and Dentist. 

This was on the face of the card ; on the back 
of the card were the words : 

"Tell the truth and stay sober; 
It will win!" 

This was the "slam" at Asa, who violated the 
above named virtues with considerable regularity, 
and his weakness for drink was especially well 

Now began a campaign of price-cutting and 
mud-slinging, the like of which I had not seen 
before nor have I seen its equal since. Den- 
tistry, which was regularly done at three dollars, 
was shoved down to one dollar, and I have seen 
Dr. Asa float a mouth for fifty cents rather than 
let the job go to Neok. It got so that the farmers 
took advantage of this state of war among the 
veterinary fraternity and they would "get prices" 
from each of us before they hired one of us. It 
was the most exciting time I ever went through 
in practice, but it was great fun for a youngster 
such as I was at the time. 

About three weeks after "the big competition" 
located, things were getting to a dangerous pitch 
between my partner, Dr. Asa, and the big quack, 
Dr. Neok. They did not confine their energies to 
drawing trade; they made slanderous remarks 
about each other and even threatened one another 
with physical punishment. 

It was quite a difficult matter for me to main- 
tain a neutral attitude because of my association 


with Dr. Asa, but I succeeded in keeping out of 
the mix-up so far as real action went. 

Asa now absolutely refused to go on a call by 
himself, and even on a short call in town he would 
take me along with him. Neok had threatened 
bodily violence should they ever meet face to face, 
and Asa was taking no chances. In that country, 
in those days, bodily violence meant a shooting 
affair, and I did not relish the part I had to play. 
However, I could not very well forsake my 
legitimate partner at so critical a time. 

The office which we occupied at that time was 
a small, wooden affair, probably ten by twelve 
feet floor space and one story high. On top of 
the roof, just on the edge of front peak, Asa had 
mounted the bleached skull of a horse, with an 
electric light globe in each orbital fossa. At night 
we would switch on these lights; it made some 
sign, believe me. 

Dr. Asa claimed that the skull was that of a 
running horse by the name of Major Dangerfleld 
who had died while in his care. Whenever any- 
one remarked about the peculiar method of 
advertising, Asa would say, "Yep ; proud to say 
that's old Major Dangerfield's cranium. I had 
to do some heavy surgery on him, but he couldn't 

As I sat in the office one night reading, I was 
nearly scared out of my wits by what seemed to 
be a loud explosion on our roof. I jumped out 
through the front door and, looking up, I failed 
to see the lights in the eye-sockets of "Major 
Dangerfield's cranium;" neither could I distin- 


guish the skull itself. When I investigated early 
the next morning, I found that only a few pieces 
of the skull remained on the roof, the greater 

portion being scattered about on the ground; 
near the edge of the gable the shingles had been 
bored through by a high-power rifle ball. Asa 


blamed Neok for this trick, without hesitation. 
To me it made no difference who had done the 
shooting; it was getting altogether too warlike 
for my comfort, and I told Asa that I was going 
to leave for more peaceful fields. He begged me 
to remain; he even cried, but I went. 

The finish of this veterinary war in Abilene I 
can only tell from hearsay. It seems that after 
I left Neok sent for reinforcements in the form 
of another quack by the name of Stables. The 
two of them finally harassed Asa into open war- 
fare. For a number of days Neok and Asa 
endeavored to ambush one another with sawed-off 
shotguns. Some friends on both sides were suc- 
cessful in preventing bloodshed by negotiating a 
meeting between Neok, Stables and Asa, at 
which meeting Asa sold his practice and office to 
Neok for the sum of eighty-five dollars. 

So ended Dr. Asa's career as a veterinary 
practitioner in Texas. 

I heard of many instances which were as bad, 
if not worse, as the competition between Asa and 
Neok. Texas was a great state from a veteri- 
nary standpoint in those days. 



Of Abilene and the country around it, I have 
many pleasant memories. That year, when I 
was there, the prospects for a cotton crop were 
exceptionally good and the farmers were spend- 
ing their money freely. Abilene had outgrown 
the cattle business and cotton was king. West of 
Abilene there was some cotton, but more cattle. 
A few years later, though, I saw a cotton gin at 
Monahans, which is about two hundred miles west 
of Abilene. 

At the time of which I write, Texas had no 
laws regulating the practice of veterinary medi- 
cine and surgery, and the state was swarming 
with quacks. 

When I recall to mind some of the work I have 
seen done in the name of veterinary science, I can 
almost bring tears to my eyes. I have seen 
animals submitted to the most cruel tortures by 
some of these quacks for the most simple and 
benign conditions or diseases. 

The greatest harm, however, which follows on 
the trail of one of these defamers of a worthy 
profession is the seeds of ignorance which they 
sow and cultivate among farmers. Besides this 
they are, as a rule, dishonest. 

I have personally known of several instances in 
which a certain quack wilfully infected horses 
promiscuously in a certain small town by smear- 



ing water troughs and hitching posts with the 
nasal discharges from cases of strangles. Through 
their ignorance, I have known two quacks to 



trephine a case of glanders, thinking it a catar- 
rhal condition, and thus exposing hundreds of 
horses, as well as people, to infection. 


Likewise, I have known, personally, of several 
cases of catarrh of the facial sinuses produced by 
a decayed tooth in which a quack ordered the 
horses killed, thinking them glandered. I know 
of a case w T here a quack was called to assist a 
mare in foaling. After he arrived and examined 
the mare he decided that he could not get the 
colt away. Instead of telling the farmer that 
the case was too much for him and requesting a 
consultation or other veterinary assistance, he 
sent the farmer into the house after some soap; 
while the farmer was in the house he gave the 
mare a large dose of strychnine, from which she 
died within an hour. I know of cases, to which I 
was called later, which in the start were simple 
conditions, but which had been converted into 
very grave affections by improper treatment. 
Right here, where I am practicing today, there 
are quacks who treat other people's animals and 
charge them for it, but when their own animals 
or some of their relatives' animals get sick they 
call me in. 

One thing I know, and that is this: A grad- 
uate, if he does not benefit a case, will certainly 
not do it any harm. He knows his anatomy and 
physiology; these two alone will keep him from 
harming the patient. From lack of anatomical 
knowledge I knew a quack to cut out, in its 
entirety, the patella of a horse, presuming thereby 
to correct a claudication. From the same lack 
of knowledge I knew a quack to tap a cow for 
bloat, through the lateral processes of the lumbar 


If there is a quack in practice who, when he 
gets a case which he cannot diagnose, will frankly 
tell the owner so, I have not yet seen or heard of 
him. Every one of them whom I came in con- 
tact with will treat any case you bring them, and 
will continue to treat the case as long as you 
allow them to do so, or until the patient dies. 
Cases which get well under their treatment, get 
well, with few exceptions, in spite of their treat- 
ment and not because of it. 

I may seem a trifle too severe on quacks and 
quackery, but I tell you that half the quacks in 
practice today should be in jail. The other half 
should be hung. I can prove it. I call to 
mind an instance which gives a fair illustration 
of the integrity of some of these fellows. On a 
certain day a cotton farmer brought a mule to a 
certain quack in Abilene for the purpose of 
having his teeth floated. After examining the 
mouth this horse-doctor gave it as his opinion 
that the teeth were not much out of order, but 
that he would float them anyhow, and then give 
the mule a pill. He thought the pill would do 
the work alone, but to make sure he would float 
the teeth a little. 

The farmer took his mule home after this had 
been done, and as he did not seem to improve a 
particle, he sent the mule in again with a neigh- 
bor, a week later. The quack having forgotten 
what he told the farmer the first time, now told 
his neighbor that the mule had the worst set of 
teeth he ever saw, and then he floated them again. 
When the neighbor got the mule home and told 


the owner all about it, he got mad and threat- 
ened to shoot the first horse-doctor he should 
ever happen to see. 

He cooled down in a few days and brought 
the mule to me. One of the upper molars had 
decayed and the opposing tooth in the lower jaw 
had grown until it was about an inch too long. 
It took only a minute to cut this off and enable 
the mule to eat properly. Now, this quack had 
"fixed" this same mouth twice within a week and 
had done absolutely nothing toward correcting 
the condition. Well, this will do for the quacks. 

Now, let me see ; where was I ? Oh, yes ; I was 
in the act of leaving my quack partner at Abi- 
lene. About two months I had been there. I 
could see that our bubble was getting ready to 
burst; we had to charge exorbitant fees to make 
any money, and we were being shunned by the 
farmers. They were almost afraid to look at the 
sign on our door for fear we might charge them 
for the looking. Before the bottom dropped out 
from under us I packed my trunk and bade my 
partner farewell. 

I had about seventy-five dollars saved up, and 
I bought a ticket right through to El Paso, four 
hundred and fifty miles west. 



I buckled right down to business in El Paso 
and soon had things going nicely when, without a 
word of notice, Dr. Asa dropped in on me one 

He said he was on his way to California and 
his wife and his two children accompanied him. 
As he seemed somewhat poorly rigged out, I 
asked him where his wife and the youngsters 
were staying, upon which he said that they were 
comfortably fixed in a hotel. He did not know 
the name of the hotel but said he knew where it 
was located and could find the place without 
trouble. He finally admitted that he had only a 
few dollars left and thought he would stick 
around a few days and make enough money to 
pay their way to the coast. 

While I was somewhat short on change 
myself, I wanted to help him all I could and 
suggested that he run up to Las Cruses, New 
Mexico, for a few days. Las Cruses was a fine 
little town in the Mesilla valley about forty miles 
from El Paso, and not even a quack there. I 
knew Asa could clean up a nice little sum of 
money there in a few days because I had been 
called there frequently and knew just what the 
possibilities were for such an attempt as Asa 
would make. 

He agreed at once that it was exactly the sort 



of a proposition he was looking for and he could 
hardly wait for the train to start, which would 
be at seven in the evening. As it was early in 

the morning when we mapped out this program, 
he decided to spend the day seeing the sights, and 
forth he went, in good humor. 


A few hours later, I happened on him a few 
blocks from my office "gloriously betanked;" he 
could barely follow the sidewalk. 

"Hello Doc," he yelled at me; "say, this is 
some burg all right, all right. Say, Doc, I'm 
going to stay right here; put up a big infirma- 
tory here, Doc; be rich in two years. Fine 
people; got the money too." He ran off a couple 
of yards of this line of talk and I had some dif- 
ficulty changing the subject. 

I reminded him of the trip to Las Cruces and 
suggested that we look up his wife and kids. 
"By George," he says, "that's right, Doc; say, I 
forgot all about them." He was sure he knew 
exactly where the hotel was and started right out 
to go there. We walked for over an hour, from 
one hotel to another, but we could not find the 
right one. Asa would stand in front of each 
place, swaying about and "sizing it up;" then he 
would look in the door, come out again, "size" 
the building up some more, and then he would 
say, "Nope; that ain't quite the place. Looks 
pretty near like it though." Then we would 
go on to the next one. Finally we came to a 
boarding house, quite a piece away from the 
downtown hotels. "Here she is, Doc," Asa 
yelled; "now we got her. I told you I knew 
where it was; come on in." 

Arrived inside, we found the wife and 
"kiddos" howling; they feared Asa had gone and 
left them. Also, they had not had a bite to eat 
since the supper on the evening before. This 
"got my goat" and I gave him the benefit of a 


piece of my mind. He showed fight, and I had 
to threaten him with a heavy molar cutter which 
I spied in an open suit case in a corner of the 

When he got somewhat more tame again, he 
threw himself on the bed and fell asleep. After 
making arrangements for something to eat for 
the madam and youngsters, I left, with instruc- 
tions to the madam to telephone me as soon as 
Asa woke up. 

As I received no message by two in the after- 
noon I thought I would go over and see how 
things were. Asa had just come alive when I 
entered and he was the sickest, most dejected 
man I ever saw. He obeyed my every com- 
mand, and promised to stay in the room until I 
should call for him in time for the train to 
Las Cruces. And he did. 

We left on the Santa Fe that evening, having 
made arrangements for Mrs. Asa and the chil- 
dren to remain at the boarding house in El Paso. 

We arrived at Las Cruces about nine o'clock 
and spent an hour or two getting "the lay of the 
land" before we went to bed. 

Arising early the next morning, we had a good 
breakfast and then we went to work. The fact 
that I was acquainted with a few people in the 
town made it easy to get started. By noon we 
had about a hundred dollars worth of work "in 
sight" and old Dr. Asa felt pretty good about it. 
He decided that Las Cruces just about suited 
him and that he would locate there permanently ; 
I was to return to El Paso and ship his family to 


Las Cruces at once. I was only too glad to find 
him so easily pleased and I returned to El Paso 
and sent, his family on their way to Las Cruces. 

A few weeks later I heard he was in jail at 
Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had only been 
in Las Cruces a few days when he went on 
another "tear," spending every dollar he had 
earned. To go the limit he had "soaked" his 
instruments to a liveryman and, then, still drunk, 
he had stolen them from the fellow before night. 

His wife and the children "went back to her 

Later I heard that Asa finally reached Cali- 

Note: "Doc" Asa is still in his old ways; re- 
cently he was telling a friend of the publisher 
that on his return from California to Abilene that 
they met him with four brass bands and that 
about 2000 people marched with him to his hotel. 
Quite a cordial reception for old "Doc." 



I worked up a fair practice in El Paso ; and at 
the end of three years I went away and left it; 
left it to go on a gold prospecting trip in old 
Mexico. It happened in this way: 

Shortly after I had again located in El Paso I 
made the acquaintance of an old prospector by 
the name of Lister. This old fellow would come 
down to my office nearly every night and sit 
around smoking his pipe and telling me stories 
of adventure on his numerous trips on the hunt 
for gold. 

Let one of these old-timers, who knows how 
to tell what he has gone through, talk to a young 
fellow who has the fire of youth in his blood; I 
say, let such an old-timer talk to a live, young 
fellow night after night for several months. If 
you can keep that young fellow where he hap- 
pens to be located at the time you can class your- 
self as a real man-handler. 

The case is even worse if, like this old-timer 
told me, he knows where there are some excep- 
tionally rich placer grounds ; grounds where a few 
months' work will make you independent; if he 
could only get a grub-stake. I listened to these 
talks for many nights. First I decided to put up 
the money to let the old sodger make a trip down 
to these grounds. They were supposed to be in 
the state of Sonora, on the edge of the Yaquin 



country. After a few more weeks I decided to 
go with him if we could get another man to go 
with us. 

Within a few days we found one who was not 
only willing to go, but was looking for just such 
an opportunity. He and I put up two hundred 
and fifty dollars for our outfit, and the old pros- 
pector was to take us to the place, and bring us 
back. We left El Paso on September twenty- 
eight for Casas Grandes, where we bought jack 
mules and everything we were told to buy. After 
five weeks of hard knocks, securing only a good 
knowledge of how to pack a burro, we came 
back. Our man could not find the place he had 
talked so much about. When we got into the 
mountains he knew no more about the country 
than we did. We kept pushing on over range 
after range of hills, until we were a hundred and 
fifty miles from the railroad; and then we came 

We left the old prospector in a Mormon 
colony on top of the continental divide. He 
swore he would yet find the place, if we would 
have patience. 

We left him with enough grub for three or 
four weeks, and then we hiked it along to Casas 
Grandes. There we sold our burros and trap- 
pings and came back to El Paso, nearly broke 

Two days later my prospecting partner left 
for California, while I took the train for Abilene. 
I never saw either of these men again; nor have 
I heard from them. About two weeks later the 


Mexican revolution broke out, and I was glad we 
were back in the good old United States of 

I remained in Abilene only a few days and 
then journeyed on to Little Rock, Arkansas, 
once more. There I remained about two weeks, 
including four or five days I spent at a lumber 
camp in the Fourche Mountains there. I made 
this trip to the lumber camp for Doctor Merch- 
ant, who had some patients there, receiving for 
it five dollars per day. 

When I returned to Little Rock from this 
lumber camp, I bought a ticket to Milwaukee, 
arriving there on December 15, 1910, after an 
absence of just about five years. And I was 
broke again! 

This time I was pretty well disgusted with 
myself and my condition. Here I was, a 
grown-up man, twenty-eight years old, with not 
a dollar of my own nor a place to lay my head. I 
had made a failure of everything so far. But 
just the same, I had hopes; I never gave up. I 
knew that I could make good anywhere, if I 
could settle down. My predicament now was 
that I had quite a bit of settling up to do, also. 
And then I found out that while a young lad is 
given every opportunity and encouragement to 
help him, when a fellow gets up near thirty and 
cannot show anything for his efforts, people 
fight shy of him ; they size him up as a no-account. 


"pastures new" 

A brother of mine was practicing veterinary 
medicine and surgery in the Missouri river 
country in South Dakota. He had written to 
me a number of times saying that his state had 
some fine openings for practitioners and that he 
would at least like to have me come up and spend 
a few weeks with him. 

So up I went. 

I found him located in a fine little town, Cham- 
berlain; and he was doing well. The only 
trouble he had was a mania for fishing in the 
Missouri when he ought to be cutting out shoe- 
boils and filing teeth. So well were his clients 
acquainted with his weakness for this pastime 
that they first walked down to the river when 
they came to consult him; if they did not find 
him there they knew there was no use looking in 
the office for him, because he was either out of 
town or fishing. 

When I arrived, he had a number of odd cases 
sticking around the country waiting to be oper- 
ated upon and I induced him, with some diffi- 
culty, to give the fish a rest until we could clean 
up some of this work. I was anxious to get on 
some of the Dakota farms and ranches ; I wanted 
to handle some of their stock and their diseases, 
for the purpose of comparing them with methods 
and conditions in Texas and the Southwest. 



We drove about the country for several days 
treating various chronic maladies and doing a lot 
of dentistry. I found that the fees there were 
fully as high as in Texas, but that the horses 
were harder to handle; they had more life than 
the "dunghills" we treated in the Southwest. We 
had to cast some patients for simple operations, 
which we invariably could perform with the horse 
in the standing position down in the Texas 

One day as we were driving near the village 
of White Lake, about 35 miles east of Chamber- 
lain, we came to a fine looking farm. My brother 
informed me that the owner was a cranky old 
German and that he had had some disagreement 
with him on account of a prescription. Never- 
theless, he said he knew the old fellow had sev- 
eral animals requiring veterinary attention and 
he suggested that we drive in to see him. While 
my brother doubted whether the old fellow 
would allow him to treat any of the animals he 
thought that I might be able to do something. 
It was none of my trouble, I thought, and so we 
drove into the yard. 

A boy came out of the house, and my brother 
asked him to please tell his father to come out. 

When the old man saw who it was that wanted 
to speak with him he bristled up immediately, 
saying, "No, no, I got no sick stock." My 
brother ignored this and told him he wanted to 
introduce me, his brother from Texas and also a 
veterinarian. "Oh, so is dat," says the old 
codger. "Oh, hu, hu; two in vun fambly! Veil, 


I tell you," addressing me now, "your brudder 
here he nearly done me someding. I had here a 
sick colt, und he given me a scription for him. I 
tooken the scription to the druggist store und 
dey told me dere vas enough arsenic in that 
scription to kill all the horses in South Dakota. 
Now, vat is dot for a business from a man vot 
claims he is a vertnery? It vas nice yet of the 
druggist store to told me in time." Here my 
brother tried to explain to him that he had 
merely prescribed tablespoonful doses of Fow- 
ler's solution of arsenic, which would give the 
colt not quite three grains at a dose, and as the 
colt was a big, husky three-year-old, the dose 
was more than safe. 

"Veil," the old fellow says, "maybe you 
vanted to make it like dat ; but the vay the feller 
in the druggist store told me if I give one dose 
my colt is a gone goose. No, no, ve can't do 
such tings." 

I took him in hand then and knocked the drug- 
gist into a cocked hat by telling him a few of my 
own experiences. When I got through talking 
to him he felt like killing the fatted calf for us 
and he wanted to know whether I was prepared 
to do some work. Well, I told him, of course, I 
was only out here on a vacation and so on, but if 
he had some work he wanted done up in first- 
class shape, why, I could change my program. 

"All right," he says, "come in the barn; I 
show you someding right avay." 

We left him after a couple of hours with a 
nice roll of , his coin in our pockets. I charged 


him so much that I surely thought he would 
squeal; but he paid us with a smile and said he 
hoped we would both stay in that country. A 
whole year later I came through that part of the 
country again and he was friendly yet; every- 
thing we did for him on that first meeting came 
out fine. 

One day, when I had been in South Dakota 
two or three weeks, a client of my brother re- 
quested him to make a visit to his ranch forty- 
five miles north of town. He said he had a 
young horse on this ranch that had a swelling 
under one eye and a discharge from the nostril 
on the same side. He stated that he had not 
seen the horse for three or four months, but the 
last time he saw him, he said, he seemed to be in 
a serious condition and he thought he would have 
us treat him. The reason that he had not seen 
the animal for such a long time was that he lived 
in town, and only visited the ranch a few times 
each year. 

As he owned a car he offered to take us to the 
ranch and bring us back to town the same day. 
He did not inquire what our charge would be 
for the trip, and as he was quite wealthy, we 
presumed that he would be prepared to pay what 
was right. 

We started out early in the morning and 
arrived at the ranch about noon. The greater 
portion of the time was spent in crossing the 
Missouri river in a rowboat and walking from 
the west shore to the ranch, a distance of a mile 


and a half, the car being left in the care of some 
boys on the east side of the river. 

When we arrived at the place and got a look 
at the horse we found him as sound as a dollar. 
Every trace of the condition which had troubled 
him had disappeared. Besides, there was not 
another animal on the place in need of veteri- 
nary services; the superintendent tried hard to 
give us something to do, but he could not find a 
mouth to fix. So, back to town we went. 

As the ranch owner deposited us in front of 
our hotel he remarked to my brother that we 
might present our bill any time we cared to do 
so. After a consultation with me my brother 
decided that, as the customary fee for such trips 
was at the rate of a dollar per mile, forty dollars 
would be reasonable; this was an allowance of 
five dollars for the use of the rancher's car. 

The next day we presented the bill; but we 
didn't get the money. The fellow made "such a 
holler" that we felt like we had committed a mur- 
der; we really did feel that way anyhow. Fin- 
ally, we made a satisfactory adjustment by 
cutting the bill in two, drawing twenty dollars 
from him. This was even more than the trip was 
worth, and I feel like a robber to this day on that 
score. It was really nothing more than a pleas- 
ure trip for my brother and me, and we must have 
been hard-hearted scoundrels in those days to 
make a charge of this kind. 

Strange to say, the fellow remained friendly 
towards us even after this hold-up game. He 
must have been a big-hearted fellow, truly. 


One of the most common diseases which I 
encountered while in South Dakota with my 
brother was actinomycosis. In the region where 
my brother was located the disease seemed to be 
present in some form on almost every farm. 

The form known as "lumpy jaw" was the most 
common, but it seemed to be present always in a 
mild form and was very amenable to ordinary 
treatment. Nearly all the cattle affected were 
young cattle. 

Conditions simulating cancerous processes are 
also seen quite frequently there. 

My brother and I term South Dakota the "fly 
state;" and it is a good name for it. 

There seem to be more flies in South Dakota 
than anything else. I have gone into restaurants 
in South Dakota and, after having a nice dinner 
served, walked out and left most of it untouched 
because the flies bothered me so that I couldn't 

In all my travels I never encountered so many 
flies as there were in South Dakota. I have 
mentioned this to other travelers and they have 
had the same experience. 

A few counties near the Missouri river have 
had a good taste of the ravages of hog cholera, 
but there did not seem to be any good estimate 
of the importance of stamping out the disease. 
Instead of disposing of carcasses so as to prevent 
the propagation of the scourge, most of the 
farmers took no such steps at all ; they seemed to 
look upon the loss of forty or fifty hogs from 
cholera as a matter of fact, as something which 


belonged to the hog industry and had to be 

Probably one reason for this was the scarcity 
of graduate veterinary practitioners. This 
makes the employment of veterinary services an 
expensive matter and both the hogs and the 
farmers suffer in consequence thereof. 

I spoke to one farmer about this when he was 
telling me of the loss of sixty hogs from cholera. 
1 asked him why he didn't get a veterinarian to 
treat his hogs with serum. He said he would if 
there were any veterinarians close enough to 
make it a reasonable proposition. The nearest 
practitioner to his farm was about forty miles 
away; he was usually too busy to attend to calls 
at such a distance, and even if he could be 
induced to come, his charge for one trip would 
cost as much as two or three hogs. 

The country in this region is just on the line 
between a farming country and a ranching 
country; a veterinarian there must have an 
immense area to work over in order to be able to 
exist and it will be many years until the country 
can support more practitioners there. 

There are many towns in which there are 
apparently good openings for a veterinarian; 
when one comes to look the field over, however, 
he usually finds that if he could get all the work 
for twenty miles in every direction he would be 
barely able to make ends meet on expenses. 

As is usually the case where the farmers have 
not come in contact very much with graduate 
veterinarians, so it is there also, namely, the 


request for a guarantee on what you do for 

After you have examined a case of lameness 
and decided that the cause is a ringbone or a 
spavin that must be fired and you tell the farmer 
the fee will be ten dollars, he usually says, "Well, 
I will give you ten dollars for the job if you will 
guarantee it." And to some of them you can 
talk for an hour, using up your best arguments 
on the point, but you won't get the job except 
"no cure no pay" fashion. This state of affairs 
is the direct result of quackery and the farmer 
must not be blamed for it entirely. 

A veterinarian in such localities must combine 
the selling qualities of a sewing machine agent 
with his professional ability as a practitioner if 
he expects to do any business; and it is mighty 
discouraging work until you get a good start. I 
know what it is from personal experience. One 
or two jobs of "hard luck" in such localities 
"cooks your goose;" you might just as well begin 
to look around for a new location at once then. 

In such localities as these the young practi- 
tioner must resort to his knowledge of "handling 
trade" in the beginning more than to his ability 
as a practitioner. Until he has made a name for 
himself Jie will get no credit for being ever so 
conscientious or painstaking. Although he may 
spend half an hour carefully examining a case 
and using every known scientific means to arrive 
at a diagnosis, he won't get the credit for it that 
"old Doc so and so" gets who drives into the yard 
and "can see what is the matter before he gets 


out of his buggy." If the young graduate hap- 
pens to have "good luck" and succeeds in saving 
a few grave cases right from the jump, his suc- 
cess is assured; just as they are slow in acclaim- 
ing a new beginner's work in these localities, just 
so ready are they to proclaim him a wonder once 
he demonstrates that he is worth anything. And 
if he treats them half "white" they will stick to 
him against all comers, too, ever after. 

Many a worthy young graduate has gone 
down to defeat in such localities before some 
ignorant, crooked old quack; not because the 
young fellow couldn't deliver the goods, but 
because he relied solely on his ability as a vet- 
erinarian and ignored the art of "handling 

I have known of places in such localities where 
an old quack would successfully hold out against 
graduate after graduate; every little while one 
would quit and a new one come in again. The 
old quack eventually got the name of being a 
wonderful doctor who was "too much" for all 
the graduates ; five or six had tried it against him 
but he "drove 'em all out." 

The next year you come through that town 
again and you find that another young grad- 
uate has located there and he is doing a "land- 
office" business, "going day and night" as they 
say. You ask for the old quack and are 
informed that he spends most of his time cussing 
the young fellow who was "too much" for him. 

Now, usually, this young fellow who is "too 
much" for the quack is no better practitioner 


than the five or six who were there before him; 
maybe not so good, because some of the five or 
six whom the quack bluffed out are making a 
mark for themselves in localities where nothing 
but real ability counts. 

But this particular young fellow was not only 
the quack's master in veterinary science, but he 
also had him bested in the art of "handling 
trade;" and in two or three years the quack was 
a dead letter in veterinary matters in the region. 

These things occur not only in South Dakota, 
but in all states where the graduate veterinarians 
are now doing pioneer work. 



The year I went to South Dakota for the 
first time to visit my brother proved to be an 
"off year" in crops. Small grain was very poor 
and west of the Missouri river, conditions were 
even worse. 

I saw train after train of settlers driving across 
the prairie, leaving their claims and going back 
east. It looked like a bad year all around and 
my brother decided to quit Chamberlain and look 
for a new location. 

Both my brother and I had often talked about 
taking a trip into the northwestern part of the 
United States, and we decided now to tramp 
through as veterinarians. 

We wanted most particularly to see the state 
of Idaho and that was our ultimate goal. While 
we wound up in Idaho all right, we changed our 
program to a certain extent, in so far as we did 
no veterinary work until we ran out of cash and 
had to work in order to be able to eat. 

We left Chamberlain, S. D., on the one train 
which ran daily to Rapid City, arriving there the 
next morning. Rapid City we found to be a fine 
little town and the country around it looked 
prosperous in comparison to the "Bad Lands" 
that one sees before reaching there. 

From Rapid City we went to Edgemont, over 
a jerk- water road that runs through the Black 



Hills to a place called Mystic, and then over the 
Burlington road. 

The mountain scenery along that little jerk- 

water road from Rapid City to Mystic is the 
finest to be seen in this country. I have crossed 

IDAHO 137 

the Rockies in several places, have been in the 
Sierra Madres in Mexico and the Sierra Nevadas 
in this country, and none have any grander sights 
than can be seen along this little railroad through 
the Black Hills. My brother has the same opin- 
ion, and he has traveled even more than I have. 

From Edgemont we went direct to Billings, 
Mont., then to Butte, and from Butte into Idaho, 
making our first stop at Idaho Falls. 

While our cash was not yet all gone it was 
getting low, and we were beginning to think 
about doing a little dentistry or something. We 
had already covered around two thousand miles 
since leaving Chamberlain and had paid first- 
class fare for every mile, to say nothing of eating 
expenses and other items. Besides, we had 
stopped for a little recreation in Rapid City and 
in Butte and that cost something too. 

We got into Idaho Falls at 2 o'clock in the 
morning and left before noon the same day. We 
discovered that there was a graduate practicing 
there and we did nothing further than to visit 
with him a few hours. 

Our next stop was McCammon, where we 
floated a few mouths an hour or so after we 

We had an interesting experience on getting 
off the train at McCammon. We carried a large 
grip full of dental instruments, two surgical kits, 
and a couple of "Nancy Hanks" medicine cases. 
When we walked away from the depot towards 
the town, we noticed a man following us; when 
we got to the main section of the burg, we 


deposited our grips on the sidewalk and held a 
meeting on the state of our finances. While we 
were counting our change, this man who had 
been following us walked up to us and said, 
"You fellers will have to pay a license in this 

"By George," says my brother, "this state 
must have some State Board of Veterinary 
Examiners ; they tackle the vets the minute they 
get off the train." 

When we asked the fellow how much the 
license fee was, he asked, "What do you peddle?" 

Then we discovered that he had taken us for a 
couple of peddlers and wanted to collect a ped- 
dler's license from us. When explanations had 
been made we had a good laugh all around. 
(That was the best we could have; the burg is 

We remained in McCammon that day and 
until evening of the next day, "fixing a few 
mouths" and writing a few prescriptions for vari- 
ous disorders. 

There was not much work "in sight," and so 
we left for the next town south on the Oregon 
Short line. 

Our finances were now in a very bad way, and 
we just had to do some work. The next town 
south for which we were now heading was a very 
small place of not more than one hundred and 
fifty people, and we probably would not have 
stopped off there at all except for the fact that 
we had been informed that a short distance from 
there a large dam was under construction for 

IDAHO 139 

irrigation purposes. The builders of this dam 
employed around three hundred horses and 
mules, and we thought we might find a lot of 
work to do among them. 

When we got off the train we walked to the 
end of the one street in the town and sat down on 
the stoop in front of a hardware store. We took 
an inventory of our cash and there were just two 
dollars and ninety- five cents all told. We were 
now about three thousand miles from home, 
among total strangers, and a rather dubious out- 
look for improvement. We were in a deuce of a 
hole ; if we were not successful in landing a good 
bit of work at the dam, we would most surely 
have to ride out of town on the bumpers or walk. 
The town was too small, we thought, to keep one 
veterinarian in cigar money, let alone support 
two in grub. 

It was about three o'clock in the afternoon 
when we got through counting our cash, and in 
view of the standing of our money bag, we 
decided to make an attempt to get out to the 
dam-site at once. 

I walked over to the livery stable and asked 
how far it was to the place, and was told it was a 
good fifteen miles out and that the charge for 
hauling us out there would be three dollars. 
Here was some regular tough luck! Fifteen 
miles to the dam ; we had been told it was two or 
three miles from town. And three dollars for a 
livery rig to the place ; and we had only $2.95 ! 

I went back to the hardware store where my 
brother was sitting on the stoop waiting for me, 


and asked him to search his pockets once more to 
see if he couldn't locate another nickel. 

"Ain't no use," he says to me; "and besides 
we're a dime shy now; I went and bought a 

IDAHO 141 

nickel's worth of plug while you were down to 
the stable." 

For this I had to give him "a calling down," 
because we had agreed to cut out all smoking and 
chewing until we got hold of some more money. 
We were both inveterate users of plug tobacco, 
but I could quit when I had to, while my brother 
couldn't. To square himself, he gave me half of 
the plug he bought, and then we both sat down 
to ruminate over our situation. 

Just when we had about found a solution to 
our predicament, the hardware man came out 
and chased us off the stoop for spitting tobacco 
juice all over it. "What do you think this is; a 
cow stable?" he asked us. 

We sat down on some farm implements that 
were piled to one side of the stoop, and my 
brother said to me, "Hell of a guy; won't even 
let a feller spit. Let's walk out of their darn old 
town; its only twelve miles to the next burg." 

"Not me," says I, "I'm going to ride out of 
this place first-class if I have to swipe a dog to 
do it." 

And for a while we sat there, trying to think 
up some scheme, anything to get out of town 

I began to walk around a bit, and as I passed 
a store I heard a man talking about a wagon 
having come in town for provisions for the crew 
at the dam. I located the wagon, and when the 
driver came out of the place I asked him whether 
he thought a good veterinary surgeon could get 
anything to do at the dam. He said he didn't 


know, but if I would go over to the town restau- 
rant I would find one of the bosses, who was eat- 
ing there and who could give me the information 
I wanted. This looked like genuine good luck 
for us after all, and I immediately went in search 
of the boss, finding him in the restaurant, just as 
the driver of the wagon had described him. He 
was a good-natured looking chap, and I did not 
hesitate to approach. I told him who and what 
I was and suggested that possibly some of the 
horses at the dam might require veterinary atten- 
tion. "Well, I'll tell you," he said, "I don't 
think we can use you ; we had all their teeth fixed 
about a month ago, and I don't know of a single 
horse out there requiring anything in your line." 

All my hopes smashed to smithereens! 

Here we had steered for this one-man town 
solely because we figured on getting a bunch of 
work out of those three hundred horses at the 
dam-site; and now we find that every one of 
them is sound as a dollar! 

I walked back to where my brother was wait- 
ing for me and broke the sad news to him gently. 

While we stood there bemoaning our hard luck, 
a team of mules was driven up to the little drug- 
store across the street from where we stood. One 
of the mules looked very thin and in extremely 
poor condition; the man driving them tied them 
to a post and went into the drug store. 

My brother, who is good at "getting 
acquainted" followed him into the drug store. 
He told the druggist he was a veterinarian, that 
he intended to remain in town a few days and 

IDAHO 143 

that he would consider it a favor if the druggist 
would allow him to make his headquarters in his 

The druggist, of course, immediately had 
visions of stacks of money coming in from large 
veterinary prescriptions and welcomed my 
brother with open arms. "Sure," he said, "make 
this your hangout. I will do all I can for you." 
The man who had driven the team of mules up to 
the store stood by listening, and the druggist lost 
no time in introducing my brother to him. 

My brother remarked about the poor condition 
of one of the mules and suggested that possibly 
he had "a bad mouth." The man said he was 
sure there was something wrong with him because 
he got as much feed as the other mule and yet he 
would not pick up. My brother suggested that 
an examination be made and the fellow agreed; 
in fact, he said he was very glad that he had met a 
"veterinary" who could do something for the 

When I, standing on the other side of the 
street, saw my brother come out of the store with 
the fellow and walk over to the skinny mule and 
examine his teeth, I felt like dancing a Highland 
fling right there. I knew my brother well enough 
to know that if there was any money in that 
man's pocket my brother could induce him to pay 
out some of it. 

Pretty soon the fellow untied the team, got 
into his wagon and drove away. My brother came 
over to where I stood, and from the way he 
worked his jaws over the plug in his mouth, I 


could see that he felt pretty good about some- 

"Well," I asked him, "what's on the pro- 

"Easy pickings," he says, "tonight when the 
fellow comes in we are to fix that mule's teeth, 
and examine the mouths of four more." 

There is no use trying to write down how good 
we felt then. 

Just about sun-down they came in with his 
team and two more teams. We floated all their 
mouths, six of them ; and the last two by lantern 
light! When we finished up, the fellow paid us 
twelve dollars, and I don't remember any time in 
my life when I felt as rich as I did with my half 
of that twelve dollars that night. 

We were in a new world once more, and we 
slept a good sleep in the hotel that night. 

It wasn't such a bad little town after all and 
we decided to "stick around" a while. 



We got out early the next morning and began 
to "mix" a bit with the natives. We learned that 
this little one-horse town was the supply center 
for an immense territory surrounding it, and that 
the farmers in the region were prosperous, owned 
much stock and had good crops year after year 
as a result of intelligent application of dry- 
farming methods. A few had installed private 
irrigating systems. We also learned that there 
was a quack living in a town about twenty-five 
miles away who made regular trips through this 
region, and from all reports he was "coining 

The result of this state of affairs was that we 
stayed in that little town for ten straight weeks, 
during which we did around six hundred dollars 
worth of work. Besides this, we enjoyed every 
minute of our stay ; the climate there at that time 
of the year is one of the most healthful and invig- 
orating in the United States. When you wake 
up in the morning, you feel like challenging the 
winner of the last Marathon for the world's 

My brother and I soon felt as though we 
"belonged;" we joined the local commercial 
club, and were active members in the community. 

The little burg could boast of a regular base- 
ball team, and when they discovered that my 



brother was a capable "south-paw" t wirier, they 
drafted him for service at once. In less than 
two weeks we were influential townsmen ! 

Of course, we didn't advertise the fact that we 
blew into town on "rusty runners," not far from 
being down and out. And no one ever even had 
any suspicions that we were ever short on money, 
for after we earned that first twelve dollars, we 
kept on gathering in the cash, and as both of us 
were more than free spenders, we made the 
impression of having more than enough money. 

About a week after we arrived in town a local 
contingent staged a prize fight. The opposing 
scrappers were a young cow puncher of consider- 
able scrappability and a Frenchman who was a 
helper on an engine crew engaged in the neigh- 
borhood. The Frenchman weighed at least forty 
pounds more than the cow puncher, but the cow 
puncher's reputation seemed to offset that. 

The conditions of the scrap were that the big 
Frenchman must knock out the little cow puncher 
in five rounds ; if the cow puncher was on his feet 
at the end of the fifth round, the Frenchman was 
to be declared the loser. 

All arrangements had been made for the fight, 
which was to be staged on the floor of an imple- 
ment warehouse where a "squared circle" had 
already been fixed up. At the last moment it 
was discovered that the fight had aroused such 
enthusiasm among the natives that it was an 
impossibility to select a referee from among them 
who would be agreeable to all parties ; every man 
had bet to the limit of his means. 


A conference was hurriedly held and a com- 
mittee sent in search of my brother and myself. 
They stated that they had been sent to find out 
whether either of us had any knowledge of ring 
rules; that, being strangers in town and not 
biased on the issue, they thought that one of us 
would make a satisfactory referee if we thought 
we could handle the situation. My brother turned 
them over to me. While I had never acted in the 
capacity of a referee, I had had considerable ring 
experience, having on one occasion trained 
Johnnie Madden (one time bantam weight cham- 
pion of the world), against big odds in his fight 
with Kid Mitchell of Mexico City. Besides this, 
I had faced a few battlers myself, and I felt that 
I could handle a match between a couple of "bush 
leaguers" like these all right. 

When I informed them of all this, they literally 
dragged me over to the scene of action, where I 
found a mob of fans squatted on the rafters, on 
binders, hay-loaders, windmills, and every other 
kind of equipment with which the warehouse was 
filled. In the center of the floor a make-shift ring 
had been set, and everything was ready for the 

I pulled off my coat, rolled up my sleeves, and 
called the participants into one corner to get the 
conditions of the scrap and agree on rules. We 
then discovered that the cow puncher needed a 
"second," and my brother was selected to act in 
that capacity at my request. I wanted him handy 
in case it ended in a rough-house, and this was 
about as handy as I could wish. 


Now everything is set ; the contestants agree to 
fight clean, no hitting in the clinches. I impress 
on them the fact that I am not going in there to 
wrestle with them in the clinches, that when I call 
"break" they are to turn loose their hold; that I 
am going to referee this little tilt as though it 
were for the championship of the world and that 
I won't stand for any foolishness. 

I then introduced them in the ring, and stated 
"officially" to the audience what the terms were, 
that if the cowpuncher was on his feet at the end 
of the fifth the Frenchy was the loser. The only 
chance the Frenchman had to win was to knock 
the cowpuncher cold. 

I then made them shake hands, and "turned 
them loose." 

And of all the fights I ever saw, that was the 
cleanest, fairest exhibition of skill and hard- 
hitting I ever saw ! 

The cowpuncher was speed personified ; and he 
could take more punishment than a mule. And he 
made the Frenchman grunt every time he landed 
on him. The Frenchy was a cool, methodical 
slugger, and I am sure was a very dangerous 
opponent over a longer route. In less than three 
rounds, however, the cowpuncher had him looking 
like a steam roller had dragged him over a rail- 
road bridge ; he could not bend him though. Once 
he was down on one knee, but he covered up and 
came back strong. 

At no time was the cowpuncher in danger of 
being knocked out, although I don't believe that 
any other small man could stand up under some 


of the body blows that big Frenchman landed on 
him, like he did. 

I had no trouble with them whatever; they 
obeyed my calls promptly in the clinches and hit 
clean. In the fifth round a half-breed Indian, 
who had bet heavily on the cowpuncher, yelled at 
me because the Frenchman was holding the cow- 
puncher's arms ; I didn't happen to see it at once, 
being somewhat enthused over the exhibition and 
forgetting my executive office for the moment. 

Aside from this there was no chance for a kick 
of any kind. 

The end of the fifth round found the cow- 
puncher just getting good, while the Frenchman 
showed plainly that the speed was too much for 
him. According to the terms of the match, he 
had lost, and I raised the cowpuncher's hand, pro- 
claiming him the winner. While considerable 
money changed hands after the fight, there was 
no disorder. I was the recipient of many flatter- 
ing thanks for the manner in which I staged the 
affair ; and it was really a fine little scrap. 



When we had thoroughly investigated the 
chances for doing business in this little town we 
decided to "stick around" for awhile; and, as I 
have already stated, we "stuck around" for ten 
solid weeks. 

The way we went after the business there was 
not in accord with the general conception of how 
to conduct an ethical veterinary practice. We did 
not sit down and wait for calls ; we went right out 
after them. 

Every morning about seven o'clock we would 
hire a team from the livery stable and drive in a 
certain direction until noon, stopping at every 
farm and ranch to solicit work. We would then 
cut across country a short distance and work 
along another road, which would bring us back 
to town by night. 

We did this every day in the week except on 
Sunday and on certain days when the town was 
full of farmers, when we would usually do a nice 
day's work in town. 

Our livery bill did not cut into our income very 
much because the liveryman made us special rates 
and then took it all out in veterinary services ; we 
did nearly as much work for him as our livery 
cost. He had all his horses' teeth fixed, about 
twenty head; had a number of ringbones and 
splints to fire, colic cases, coughs, accidents, and 



other odd troubles. As the quack who formerly 
did his work was in the habit of charging him out- 
rageous fees, we had no trouble in making his bill 
equal ours for livery hire. 

I remember that for one period of about three 
or four weeks our livery bill was around seventy 
dollars, every bit of which he took out in veteri- 
nary services during the same period of time. 

After we got a good start, we would cover a 
certain territory every week, and we soon had 
cases under treatment in all parts of that district. 
The farmers seemed to take it as a regular cus- 
tom; they were accustomed to such veterinary 
visits, which had been made in this manner by 
quacks for many years. Before we left, we knew 
every road for fifteen miles in all directions and 
knew nearly every farmer living around there. In 
a few directions we worked as far as twenty miles 
from town. 

We also got a chance at those horses working 
on the dam; but we were "double-crossed" on the 
job, as I will explain later. 

We encountered a few conditions in this part of 
Idaho which were entirely new to us. The most 
common, and yet the most interesting of these, 
was lupinosis among horses. 

Almost without exception these cases occurred 
in young horses that had been pastured on alfalfa 
for a few weeks. It begins with a very severe 
form of scours ; the evacuations are very watery 
and occur frequently. Within a few days the 
horse, although he keeps on eating as a rule, is 
wasted away to a skeleton. He gets "wabbly," 


and appears bright-eyed as a horse starving to 

About the third or fourth day, the mucous 
membrane lining the mouth is the seat of ulcers, 
varying in size from a pea to the circumference 
of a quarter; they have irregular and ragged 
edges and stubbornly resist ordinary treatment. 
They emit a very foul odor and slowly increase 
in size. They are most marked around the mar- 
gin of the gums and on the sides of the tongue. 

Later edematous swellings appear in the extre- 
mities and abdomen. Death results, apparently 
from cachexia, in ten days to two weeks, when the 
horse gets down and remains in the recumbent 
state for a day or two before the end. 

In one case we saw the ulcerations involve the 
skin also. 

At first these cases gave us much worry, but 
we found later that we could handle them satis- 
factorily with large doses of oil of eucalyptus. 
The ulcerative stomatitis was treated locally, 
with Friars' balsam. 

The first few doses of eucalyptus were given 
with a full dose of opium, until the scours were 
improved. The usual treatments for scours were 
of no avail in this disease. 

Convalesence is very tardy following an attack 
of lupinosis; the horse is slow to regain his 
former vigor and powers of endurance. In some 
cases a persistent polyuria supervenes, which 
resists all treatment. 

The only time I ever got an abscess from a 
subcutaneous injection was in a case of this kind. 


Thinking that possibly the ulcerations in the 
mouth might yield to poly-bacterins, I gave the 
horse a full dose hypodermically. The result 
was no effect on the ulcerations but a large slough 
at the point of injection, which was difficult to 
heal up. Of course, I blamed the bacterins. But 
later, when I gave this same horse a hypodermic 
injection of strychnin as a stimulant I got 
another slough. I have never been able to explain 
this to my own satisfaction. It was not due to 
careless injection or dirty needle or syringe, 
because I had no trouble in other diseases, for 
which I gave injections with the same syringe 
and needle during that period. 

The only half -plausible explanation is that 
there is a tendency in this disease towards the 
formation of ulcers as a result of which the capil- 
lary circulation is so subdued that anything 
injected subcutaneously remains at the site and, 
acting as a foreign body, produces the slough by 
pressure and decomposition of the agent injected. 
I have already mentioned that in one case we 
noted ulcerations on the skin. 

One disease was conspicuous in this region 
only through its absence. During the entire ten 
weeks that we were there, handling fully around 
four hundred patients, we saw not one single case 
of pulmonary emphysema. This we attribute to 
the dry air and high altitude; the altitude here 
was around six thousand feet above sea level. 

A very interesting condition which we encoun- 
tered in a mare here was a cancerous condition of 
the mammary gland. Resection was followed 


rapidly by a new invasion of the remaining por- 
tion of the gland. 

Because of the manner in which we drove out 
to get our business, we were compelled to carry 
drugs and dispense. Only when doing business 
in town could we write prescriptions for the edi- 
fication and benefit of our friend, the druggist. 

When he discovered that our prescriptions 
were not coming in as fast as he expected and 
that we were dispensing, he began to "rob" us on 
drugs. We had to buy everything from him 
because we were too far from any other place 
where we could get drugs. 

We stood for his "robbery" a while, and then 
we induced a storekeeper, who was selling patent 
medicines and crude drugs, to put in a line of 
drugs for our benefit. The fellow was willing, 
and we made an agreement whereby my brother 
and I were to get our drugs for cost plus the 
freight, and half the profit on all prescriptions, 
which, of course, we had to compound ourselves 
as the fellow was not a druggist. 

This was an incentive, to be sure, for us to 
write all the prescriptions we could and cut down 
our dispensing as much as possible. Within a 
few weeks we had a nice share of profit coming 
on prescriptions, but — the fellow wouldn't pay 

I will go into this fully farther on in my story. 



About four or five weeks after we located in 
this little town a man came to see us from the 
dam-site with the request that we call at the dam 
for the purpose of investigating some trouble 
they were having among their horses. 

I questioned him thoroughly in regard to the 
nature of the trouble and was informed that they 
had been losing two or three horses a week. I 
told him that we would go out and locate the 
trouble and put a stop to the losses for one hun- 
dred dollars a day. If it could be accomplished 
in one day that would be their good fortune ; if it 
took a week it would be our good fortune. I gave 
them reasonable assurance that we could prob- 
ably complete the job in three days without much 

The man returned to the dam to report to the 
superintendent, who was to call us if our propo- 
sition was satisfactory. He called up the same 
evening, saying that we could start in the 

The next morning my brother and I drove out, 
arriving at the dam about nine o'clock. 

Two horses were sick when we got there ; both 
had typical attacks of acute indigestion. 

One of the men in charge told us that the seven 
or eight horses that had died had acted exactly 



the same as these two, and he was sure these 
would die also. 

We took them in hand and in an hour or two 
both of them were entirely well. We gave them 
ordinary treatment for acute indigestion. 

When we began looking into the feed supply, 
we discovered that there was not a sprig of hay 
on the place. There had been some hitch in the 
proceedings, as a result of which the outfit was 
unable to obtain sufficient hay at any time. For 
two straight weeks, all the horses got nothing 
but oats, aside from a few handfuls of oat-straw 
for roughness now and then. 

We learned that nearly all the horses that had 
died were taken sick immediately after the noon 
feed, for the eating of which they were allowed a 
half hour. 

We took our time in arriving at a verdict, but 
the evidence pointed plainly and unmistakeably 
to the unbalanced ration, all oats and no rough- 
ness. We were positive that this alone was the 
cause of all the trouble, and that same afternoon 
we reported so to the superintendent. 

And he laughed at us! He said that he had 
expected we would find the fault with the feed 
and that he had made up his mind not to pay us 
if we could find nothing else. 

Of course, he was crooked ; we discovered later 
that this was what ailed him. But we couldn't 
talk him into coming across with the hundred 
dollars ; fifteen dollars is all we got. 

We kept track of them and found out that 
they immediately got busy buying hay ; also that 


they cut out the noon feed as we had suggested. 
And the trouble stopped immediately, only one 
or two very mild cases appearing after this. 

It was the rawest deal we ever got and it made 
us pretty "sore" ; we had absolutely no chance to 
get a square deal and we had to be satisfied with 
the fifteen dollars. We did not even get the 
satisfaction of speaking our mind; the camp was 
an aggregation of "touch-mugs," and while my 
brother and I had faced some pretty tough 
gangs, we knew too much about "safety first" to 
show fight here; we could "feel it in the 
atmosphere" that this game had been deliberately 
framed up on us. 

I don't doubt but what we would have been 
"man-handled" had we so much as "peeped." 
However, we let them know later that had we 
had any premonition that such a deal was to be 
pulled on us, we would have gotten our hundred 
dollars! For in that day and age my brother 
and I were mighty handy fellows with a shooting 
iron, and our view of life in those days was such 
that our nerve was mighty good, and we didn't 
"scare worth a darn." 

Although we sent them this information as a 
sort of challenge, none of them ever "called our 
hand." They were nothing but a gang of bluf- 
fers, and only pulled off their dirty work where 
they knew they could get away with it. 

One satisfaction we derived later, though; it 
was when a horse was seriously injured a few 
weeks later by falling off the dump. Of course, 
they could not send for my brother or me, and 


in consequence were compelled to employ a 
quack who lived some thirty miles away. He 
charged them $45.00 for the trip; and the horse 

The fees we charged for our work while we 
were in this locality were reasonable, all things 
considered. The people in this region are nearly 
all Mormons, and while we found them a bit clan- 
nish, they were good people; most of them paid 
cash and we lost only a few dollars, which we 
could have collected also had we made the 

There is an item which must be considered in 
doing work as we did here, and that is that the 
relation between the veterinarian and the client is 
not the same. It is probably only a psychological 
difference; but there is a difference in doing 
work for a man that you have asked for or solic- 
ited, and in doing work that a man has called 
you to do. 

The veterinarian's demeanor towards the client 
must be most reserved in the first instance, and he 
must be more conservative throughout than he 
usually is in the latter instance. In this connec- 
tion the itinerant practitioner must resort to his 
salesmanship ability to the limit, for it is often a 
difficult matter to obtain a certain piece of work 
without exceeding the bounds of conservatism. 
If he fails to impress on the prospective client the 
fact that he can treat the case in question success- 
fully, he is usually not successful in getting the 
job. On the other hand, if his assertions in 
regard to his ability are too rash and his promises 


of results too broad, he may involve himself in a 
"guarantee" proposition, which makes it difficult 
for him to collect his fee. 

This form of practice is good schooling for the 
diplomatic service; the veterinarian must avoid 
the issue as much as possible in his arguments 
and yet gain his point. 

I have known some capable and well-schooled 
veterinarians who, possessed of a wandering 
spirit, spent the greater part of their lives as itin- 
erant practitioners, and who were diplomacy per- 
sonified. Some of these men are most interesting 
characters and a recital of their experiences is 
always instructive in every regard. 



Towards the end of our stay in this little town, 
I met a cattle-buyer who had lived in the south- 
west for some time and who knew a good many 
of my old friends along the Mexican border. He 
was now in Idaho buying beef cattle for a firm 
in Reno, Nevada, and he suggested that I ride 
around the country with him in his search for a 
train-load of steers. 

My brother was willing that I should go, and 
so I went. 

The best we could do was the purchase of about 
nine carloads of two and three-year-old steers 
near Oxford, Idaho. 

My new-found friend prevailed on me to 
accompany the shipment to Reno, which was 
made through Ogden, Utah, and then across Salt 
Lake over the Union Pacific. 

We turned the cattle over in Reno and then 
came back to Ogden, from which point I 
returned to again take up the work with my 
brother. While in Reno I was given an oppor- 
tunity to go to San Francisco with another ship- 
ment of cattle, but I was "travel- worn" to such 
an extent that the trip had no allurements for me. 
I was anxious to get back to Idaho, and I refused 
the offer. 

When I returned to the little burg, my brother 
informed me that he had endeavored to collect 


our share of the profits on prescriptions accord- 
ing to the agreement we had made with the store- 
keeper, but that the storekeeper had refused to 

We took the matter up with him again then, 
and he told us that he would share no profits 
until enough money had come in from prescrip- 
tions to cover his entire investment on the propo- 
sition. The entire outlay had been for a full sup- 
ply of drugs, scales, mortars, graduates, bottles, 
ointment jars, labels, etc., and it amounted to 
considerable; if we had to wait until he had his 
money back for the whole outfit, we would be 
waiting yet. 

Of course, he was figuring all right for him- 
self, but the point to which we objected was that 
our agreement made no such stipulation; it was 
clearly agreed that we were to get a dividend 
every few weeks. The reader will readily under- 
that my brother and I would not enter into a 
proposition from which we could draw no profit 
for a year when we knew we would not remain in 
town that long. The fellow was "trying to put 
one over" on us. 

But the poor fellow made a mistake in addition 
while he was doing all this figuring for himself. 

My brother and I had about exhausted the 
veterinary possibilities in the region just then; 
the harvest had been made and we could see a 
slackening in work. We had seen every inch of 
their country and were just about ready to "fly 
the coop" anyhow. 

But it wasn't so easy to get away now ; we had 


this storekeeper to look out for. He was loaded 
down with this drug supply and other items 
depending wholly on us, and we feared he would 
create a disturbance if the two of us made a 
move to quit. 

So we framed up a one-act drama for him. It 
worked like this : 

A few days after he refused to give us our 
share of the profits I informed him that my 
brother and I had decided to dissolve partnership 
and that I would move to a town about fifty 
miles below, while my brother would remain to 
continue the practice that we had established 
here. I then left, taking along both my brother's 
trunk and mine. 

A couple of days later I sent my brother a 
telegram stating that I had an operation to per- 
form that required his assistance and requesting 
him to come to my town, fifty miles south, at 

He showed the telegram to everybody in town, 
I guess, as he told me afterward, and nobody 
"smelled a mice." 

In the meantime I purchased two tickets 
straight through to Cheyenne, Wyoming, 
checked out the trunks and when the train on 
which my brother was coming arrived in my town 
I joined him; and straight to Cheyenne we went. 

We were sincerely sorry that we had to pull off 
this stunt on the storekeeper, but he was at fault. 
Had he been on the square with us we would 
have remained at least a while longer and would 
then have made him an offer which would at least 


have gotten him his money back. I have often 
wondered what he did with that drug outfit after 
we left. 



Before I close the account of our experiences in 
Idaho I want to mention a little experience my 
brother had there. 

After we had been in the state four or five 
weeks he became so enamoured of the beautiful 
climate and the success of dry-farming that he 
decided to take up a claim and make Idaho his 
permanent abode. 

He made inquiries among the natives regard- 
ing the location of land still open to settlement 
and after looking over a number of tracts he 
decided on a quarter section of plateau land 
located near a place called Pebble. It was a 
most beautiful piece of land, and a small stream 
bounded it on one side. 

The government land office was located in 
Blackfoot, and to that place my brother went to 
file on the land. When he got to Blackfoot and 
pointed out the location on the land-map, he dis- 
covered that the piece was in the forest reserve 
and not subject to claim. 

He then picked out a quarter section near what 
is known as Ten Mile Pass ; both of us had driven 
over every foot of the country around Ten Mile 
Pass and we were acquainted with the nature of 
the land there. Some of it was ideally situated. 

So my brother filed on a quarter section, 
pocketed the papers, and came back. The next 



morning we hired a team and drove out to look 
at his "claim." 

When we got our bearings and measured off 
the tract by counting the revolutions of a wheel 
on our buggy, it turned out to be a tract of solid 
rock, resembling asphalt ; not over ten acres was 
tillable land. A few miles from Ten Miles Pass 
there is an extinct volcano, which in past ages 
paved a great section of the country with lava, 
resembling now a solid covering of asphalt. 

Taking it all in all, we got considerably the 
worst of it in Idaho. First, the "double-cross" at 
the dam-site; second, the filing on 160 acres of 
stone; third, the "double-cross" by the store- 
keeper. But, — we got a nice wad of their cash, 
more than we could have gotten for the same 
amount of work in any other part of the United 

We carry no grudge against the region or its 
people ; we got good pay for what we did. 



When my brother and I made up our minds to 
leave Idaho, we had no particular goal in view; 
we were still tramps. 

Arriving in Cheyenne we decided to take things 
a bit easy again for a time ; we had a few dollars 
in our pockets now and we had just enough 
' 'hook-worm disease" to keep from exerting our- 
selves as long as our money lasted. 

We took in the sights around the neighborhood 
of Cheyenne, and then we took a run down to 
Denver. In Denver we spent nearly a week, 
living a life of ease and contentment on the 
mony we had made in Idaho. 

We had a few hundred dollars left when we 
finished our stay in Denver, which we exchanged 
for Travelers' Cheques before leaving. These 
checks are as acceptable as cash in most places 
and they are safer than cash because the owner 
must endorse them properly before negotiating 

When we had seen all there was to be seen in 
and around Denver, we bought tickets for 
Omaha, Nebraska, where we put in another week 
or so of easy life. 

Towards the end of our stay in Omaha we had 
to go a little easy on our expense account because 
it was about used up. Not until we had only 
about thirty dollars left did we begin to give con- 



sideration to what we would do to get some more 
money. After several days of argument on the 
question, we decided to take a run home to see 
the folks in Wisconsin and then decide on a 
definite program. We had just about enough 
money left to get home in first-class fashion now, 
and we lost no time in buying railroad tickets. 

We spent a week or so of good times among 
our people and then my brother went to Minne- 
sota to seek his fortune while I obtained a place 
as assistant to the State Veterinarian in our 
home state. 

And for six months both of us gave not a 
minute to play. Then, by a strange coincidence 
both of us quit our jobs at the same time and 
arrived home among the folks on the same day. 

Of course, the folks are of the opinion to this 
day that this joint home-coming on our part was 
pre-arranged ; but my brother and I give you our 
word of honor as good fellows that neither of us 
knew anything about the other's program until 
we met there at home. 

However, before night of our first day at home, 
we had arranged to take another trip into South 
Dakota as tramp veterinarians, and the end of 
another week found us once more in Chamber- 
lain, doing business at my brother's old stand. 



This second trip of ours into South Dakota 
did not turn out to be a very successful venture 
from a financial standpoint. In fact it was so 
unsuccessful that it just about cured both of us 
of our failing for an itinerant practice. 

We arrived during the first week in July, and 
business was so slow in starting that we had to 
resort to the method pursued by us in Idaho. 
We would hire a rig every morning and drive 
over a certain section of road soliciting work. 

We got a few calls, but most of the work we 
did there on this trip we obtained by driving 
about and asking for it. 

On one of these drives, we came to a farmer for 
whom we had treated a colt a year previously, 
just before we left for Idaho. 

The colt had fallen into a water trough and 
had fractured the metatarsus of one hind leg. 
The colt was six or eight months old at the time, 
and the fracture was a complete, oblique break 
with considerable displacement. We had treated 
it ordinarily, with wood splits held in place by 
plaster of paris bandages. 

When we saw the colt now, a full year later, 
the result had been so perfect that it was not easy 
to pick out the leg that had been broken. There 
was a smooth fullness on the shin resembling a 



"buck shin," but otherwise there was no objective 
evidence of a healed fracture. 

We also saw a case of sweeney that we had 
treated a year before by injecting sodium bicar- 
bonate solution subcutaneously in the atrophied 
area. The muscle had filled in beautifully, but 
at each point of injection there was a "button" of 
fibrous tissue. 

Another case we had treated the year before, 
again came to our attention this year in a very 
aggravated form. It was a case that had once 
been treated by a quack for a necrosed tooth ; the 
quack had trephined the superior maxilla for the 
purpose of repulsing the tooth. In the act of 
repulsing, the punch slipped off the fang and 
crashed through the hard palate, coming out just 
inside the dental arcade and leaving an ugly hole 
on its withdrawal. 

When the case came into our hands the first 
time, there was the beginning of a cauliflower- 
like growth at the opening made by the punch in 
the roof of the mouth ; it had attained the size of 
a billiard ball then. 

The horse also exhibited a severe grade of 
dyspnea, which we attributed to a similar growth 
or an extension of the same growth, in the maxil- 
lary and nasal chambers. On the strength of 
this, we trephined him again and removed an 
immense mass of new growths resembling "proud 
flesh." The removal was accomplished through 
the trephine opening, taking the growth away in 
sections with a large curette. A very profuse 
hemorrhage ensued. 


The portion protruding through the opening 
made by the quack's punch in the roof of the 
mouth we removed with a wire ecraseur and then 
cauterized the base. 

The hemorrhage occurring in the sinus was 
controlled with packing. 

We did not see the horse again until now, a 
year later, when we were driving in the neigh- 
borhood soliciting work. 

The condition had now progressed to a stage 
where the horse was a pitiable sight. The growth 
within the mouth had formed anew and had 
attained such dimensions that it was impossible 
for the horse to close his mouth entirely. Judg- 
ing from the difficulty in breathing, we inferred 
that the growth in the sinuses and nasal chamber 
had increased proportionately. A stinking odor 
was present and the horse had wasted to a 

We recommended his destruction. 

We had now been driving around the country 
looking for work for about four weeks ; we did a 
little work every day, but it was so little that we 
could barely pay our board bill with the proceeds. 

We had plenty of friends there and a good 
string of satisfied clients for whom we had 
worked the year previously, but we could not get 
started this year ; somehow we couldn't land any 
work to speak of. Whether it was because we 
had lost the "hang" of talking the work into our 
hands or whether it was just an "off" year for us, 
I am not able to say. 

Before long we found it so hard to make ends 


meet in town that we decided to "camp" a few 
weeks with an old chum of my brother's who 
lived about ten miles from town on a farm. We 


figured that we could at least save our hotel 
expenses for a couple of weeks, and we intended 
to get a rig from my brother's chum to use in 


driving about the region in search of veterinary 

The "chum" was glad to see us and invited us 
to "hang around" as long as it suited us. He 
said we could use one of his horses and his buggy 
free of charge and that he hoped we would make 
a barrel of money. 

We felt as though somebody had made us a 
present of a gold mine ! The next morning after 
breakfast, he ordered his hired-man to put the 
harness on "old chip" and hook him to "Lizzie's 
buggy." We thought he was too good to us and 
told him we could just as well do the "hitching 
up" ourselves. He assured us that nothing was 
too good for us. I asked my brother what made 
the fellow so generous; I thought maybe my 
brother had saved his life on some occasion or had 
raised the mortgage on his farm. He was "too 
nice for anything." 

But when the hired-man led up "old chip" 
hooked to "Lizzie's buggy" I changed my opin- 
ion of the whole business; I thought then that 
maybe my brother had done him a dirty trick 
once, and I have often wished since that I had 
taken a picture of the outfit to keep as a 

"Old Chip" looked to be about the oldest chip 
off the block; he had every bump on him that a 
horse can have and still retain enough flexibility 
to be able to walk. He was so sore in front that 
a person felt like hollering "Ouch!" for him every 
time he put a foot down. And the buggy ! Did 
I say "buggy"? Well, anybody seen riding in a 


thing like that was would certainly be considered 
"buggy" in any civilized country outside of South 
Dakota ! Each wheel on it was different ; one of 
the front wheels was as high as the two rear 
wheels and the two rear wheels were not quite 
mates either. The dashboard was gone, and the 
thills were about as heavy as those they use on 
brewery carts. And not a joint in the whole 
machine but what was all bound 'round with hay 

Then, to cap the grand climax, "old Chip" had 
on a brand new Shears- Storebuck harness. 

And I suppose you have got all your brain cells 
busy trying to figure out whether my brother and 
I drove that outfit around the country or not. 
\You bet we did! We were glad to get it, too. 
Our funds were exhausted and the only means 
we had of replenishing them so that we could get 
away was by driving around in search of any 
work there might be for us to do. "Old Chip" 
and "Lizzie's Buggy" didn't cost us a cent for 
hire and we were too hard pressed to look a gift 
horse in the mouth. 

We drove "old Chip" around that part of the 
country for about a week and during that week 
my brother and I were the "joke" of the region; 
every farmer we tackled for a job in the veteri- 
nary line had some sort of remark to make about 
why we didn't fix our own horse first, or some- 
thing of a similar nature. At last it got on my 
nerves and I made it a point to start the talk 
about "old Chip" of my own accord; in that way 


I would "beat them to it" and get it over with as 
soon as possible. 

Just the same we earned a few dollars during 
that week, and as we had no livery or board bills 
to pay it was all "velvet." Considering how hard 
we "went after them" however, we did a very 
poor business. 

As an illustration of how hard we "went after 
them" that week I will relate the following. One 
morning as we stopped at about the fourth farm 
without having done any work, we saw a farmer 
in a field cultivating corn. We pulled up to the 
fence and waited until he came down to our end 
of the field. He was driving a team of pretty 
good horses to the cultivator ; they were small but 
good chunks, and one of them looked just a bit 
thin. We told the farmer who we were and what 
we did and suggested that he let us examine the 
thin horse's teeth. He consented to have it done 
after some argument, and the horse's mouth 
really needed attention. He said we could come 
around in the evening and fix them up; but we 
were afraid he might change his mind by that 
time, or possibly somebody might talk him out of 
the notion. So we talked him into the notion of 
having the job done right away, and we fixed 
those teeth right there in the corn-field. He had 
no money with him, so we got him to write a note 
to his wife ordering her to pay us $2.50 ; we drove 
to his house and collected the money. 

On another occasion we wrote a prescription 
for a farmer for use on a lame horse, charging 
him one dollar for it. When we got ready to 


leave he said he had no money in the house; we 
suggested that he give us a check for the dollar 
but to this he said that his account at the bank 
was drawing interest and not subject to check. 

■We handled the situation so delicately and so 
tactfully that he finally gave us his note for one 
dollar, which we collected too. 

No doubt "old Chip" and "Lizzie's buggy" 
were the cause of half the turn-downs we got ; if 
our own appearance and our arguments instilled 
a grain of confidence in our ability into a farmer 
"old Chip" and "Lizzie's buggy" were enough to 
jar it out of him again. But, they didn't cost us 
anything, and it is a question whether we would 
have done much better with a livery outfit, for 
which we would have had to pay $3.00 a day. 

At the end of a week, we were so disgusted 
with the whole proposition that we decided to 
quit and leave. My brother had saved most all 
of his money and could buy a railroad ticket back 
east ; he left for Tennessee a few days later, while 
I remained in Chamberlain. I got a job packing 
cigars in a cigar factory and earned enough 
money to pay my way to Chicago. 



In the fall of 1912 I was once more 
appointed to a federal position, having taken 
the Civil Service examination again. 

This time I was put on post-morten work at 
the Union Stock Yards, Chicago. 

I found that a great change for the better 
had been wrought in this work; in fact, post- 
mortem work as performed in 1904 when I 
was in the service the first time could not be 
compared with the work as it now is. 

The present-day inspection is real, and aside 
from some local irregularities, for which the 
inspector in charge was to blame, I could see 
nothing but good in the work. I can not say too 
much in praise of the work performed by the 
veterinary inspector doing postmortem work 
today ; in fact, some of the routine work done day 
after day by these men is a most wonderful exhi- 
bition of skill and expertness. 

I remained in Chicago about four months at 
this work, when I resigned and organized a pro- 
prietary medicine company. 

I operated this enterprise very successfully for 
myself and stockholders, and sold my interest in 
it the next spring at a good profit. 

When I had disposed of my holdings in the 
medicine company I made application for rein- 
statement in the Bureau of Animal Industry, 



and received an appointment in the tick eradica- 
tion division in Mississippi. This made my 
fourth appointment to service in the Bureau, 
and I must say it was about the worst. 

My orders on this appointment were to report 
to the inspector in charge at Nashville, Tenn. 
When I got to Nashville I was given a few hours 
to myself and then I was told to proceed at once 
to Crystal Springs, Miss. There I reported to 
the inspector in charge, and was then at once sent 
to Hazelhurst, Miss., which was to be my official 

My conception of tick eradication was as yet 
somewhat vague ; I knew what the principle was 
but I had absolutely no knowledge of how it was 
reached. Imagine my surprise, then, when my 
superior informed me that my duty for the pres- 
ent would be to supervise the construction of 
dipping vats. These vats consist of trenches dug 
in the ground and plastered with concrete. I 
began to suspect that some mistake had been 
made in my commission, or that my name and 
appointment had been confused with that of 
some brick layer or hod carrier, and I told the 
inspector-in-charge so. 

"No," he said, "your commission is all right 
and regular. This work is part of the veterinary 
inspector's duty." I had a notion to tell him 
that the college I graduated from did not 
include concrete construction work in its 

Anyhow, it is one of the pieces of "judgment" 
that is seen quite regularly in the government 


service ; a man must be a graduate of a three-year 
veterinary school and must pass the Civil Service 
examination in all veterinary subjects so that he 
may be shipped into the tick country to supervise 
the digging and plastering of dipping vats. 
Aside from watching one or two dipping opera- 
tions and the cooking up of a few batches of dip- 
ping fluid, I did nothing but "supervise" vat 

When I had been on the job about two weeks, 
I was transferred to Liberty, Miss., which is near 
the Louisiana line. Here I was to take up the 
work of tick eradication with the county board 
and to work out a plan of advance work. Before 
I could get my bearings, I was again transferred, 
this time to Quitman, Miss., near the Alabama 

In this latter district the tick eradication cam- 
paign was meeting with considerable opposition 
from the farmers and stock raisers; a few vats 
had been blown up with dynamite and the 
inspector threatened. 

It may be that my superior officers figured 
that, in view of my early experiences with 
"rough-necks" in Texas, I should be just the 
man for this job. Well, maybe so; but, nine or 
ten years had passed since I last looked into the 
front end of a "forty-five." What looks like fun 
and enjoyment to the lad of twenty-two looks 
like "bad business" to him at thirty-two; at least, 
that was the way with me. Then, too, the 
inspector whom I was to relieve and who was 
"tickled to death to get away" was a pretty clear- 


eyed young lad from Kansas; no tenderfoot by 
any means. That made some difference with me, 
too; I sized the whole proposition up that way 
and sent in my resignation, leaving for the north 
the same day. 

Had the inspector whom I was to relieve there 
been a "tenderfoot" I might have given those 
"hill-billies" down there a whirl for their money; 
as I said, and as it was, he was a clear-eyed lad 
from Kansas, and cold feet didn't trouble him 

An interesting state of affairs seems to exist in 
the Bureau service as regards the value placed 
upon their positions by the various grades of 
employes. I found this state of affairs in exist- 
ence among the inspectors every time I was in 
the service, and that is that the young veteri- 
narians are all waiting for an opportunity to get 
"into something else," usually general practice or 
the manufacture of anti-hog-cholera serum. 
Only on very rare occasions did I meet young 
inspectors who intended to remain in the service. 
Practically the only ones possessed of the idea 
that they are holding a life berth are the "old 
timers" who have been given charge of some sta- 
tion or are being paid more than the average 

One reason, and to my mind the chief reason, 
for this state of affairs is the fact that the new 
appointee or the inspector in the ranks receives 
little or no consideration in matters that affect his 
personal comfort, especially as regards his 
geographical preferences. 


While it is a practical impossibility to accede 
to every demand made on the executive officers 
in this regard, it appeared to be the practice to 
ignore even most reasonable requests. It was no 
uncommon occurrence for an appointee to be 
ordered to report for duty in the extreme west, 
when his home and preference for location lay in 
the extreme east, at the same time that another 
man was shipped from the extreme west to take 
office in the east. A man had no chance to make 
a permanent home for himself and his family 
either; at any time he might be transferred from 
one point to another a thousand miles away. I 
remember the* case of an inspector in the post- 
mortem division at Chicago who made every 
effort to obtain a transfer to a southern station; 
no attention whatever was given to his requests 
although a number of changes were made almost 
every month to some of the points that would 
have been agreeable to him. In several instances 
the men ordered to make such changes were 
northern men who preferred to remain in the 
north, and, although this man and others were 
anxious to take a southern station, no attention 
was given their desires. 

Again, I knew of many instances where 
inspectors made requests for transfer to field 
work, men who were exceptionally fitted for field 
work because of their personality and their pre- 
vious experience. Their requests were ignored, 
while at the same time men entirely unfitted for 
field work were constantly being sent out on 
such work. 


Any inspector can tell you of dozens and 
dozens of such occurrences, and it is one of the 
"sore spots" in the service, no matter where it is. 

Here is another case. A certain inspector had 
been at one station continually for four or five 
years, long enough for him to assume that he 
could look upon it as his permanent abode. He 
bought a lot and built himself a home. The house 
was just about completed when he was ordered to 
report for duty at a station several hundred miles 
away. This happened to an inspector in Iowa. 

Well, what could he do? 

He could do one of two things ; either move or 
quit the service. 

And, after a fellow has been in the service for 
five years, well — he sort of feels queer about 
tackling practice; he is pretty rusty on every- 
thing but pathology, and he thinks hard before 
he quits. And usually, he moves. 

No wonder some of the "old timers" in the 
service are a narrow, grouchy, sour bunch of fel- 
lows. The service has made them so. 

Here, for instance, is a poor fellow on post- 
mortem work in Chicago working from seven in 
the morning to six in the evening among a mob 
of foreigners, when his heart is really in Colorado 
or California. He has filed a request to be 
transferred to one of those points, and although 
he hears of some of the boys being moved out. 
there, fellows who probably prefer Chicago, he is 
kept plugging away here for months and months ; 
yes, maybe years. 

Enough to make a good fellow grouchy ! 


Of course, there are some fellows who do not 
feel settled anywhere, and they keep filing 
request after request for transfer from one lo- 
cality to another. I was one of this kind myself ; 
I "always wanted to be where I wasn't." But 
these fellows are the exception, not the rule. 

Anyhow, to my mind, it is a pretty punk spec- 
imen of the veterinary profession that can not 
beat the Bureau salary and comforts to a frazzle 
in practice! Any ordinary little practice will 
net a fellow nearly as much as the Bureau salary 
amounts to; and you can be a human being at 
least, — which is something, too. 



See page 190 



Our last experience in South Dakota just 
about "cured" both my brother and me, and we 
have now settled down, my brother in Iowa and 
I in Wisconsin. 

While we gained nothing from a financial 
standpoint, we learned many lessons that are as 
good as cash invested in substantial enterprises. 

One of the big lessons we learned early in our 
experience is the custom of "clique rule," which 
exists in all small towns, and which is one of the 
most important factors bearing on a practitioner's 
popularity in a small town. Ninety per cent of 
the inhabitants of all small towns are not con- 
scious of the existence of "clique" influence al- 
though they are active members of such cliques. 

When a practitioner first locates in a small 
town, and it makes absolutely no difference what 
or where the town is, he must refrain from becom- 
ing enmeshed in one or the other of these cliques, 
and this he can do best by forming no fast or 
particular friendships until he gets the lay of the 
land. In a small town you are either a "friend of 
mine" or an enemy; a "middle" existence is 
almost impossible. If it is true that it is hard 
for a practitioner to do well in his "home" town, 
this is the chief reason; he belongs to a certain 
clique and does not realize it. 



It is hard to make this plain in writing, but 
here is the way to keep out of "cliques": 

1. Refrain from discussing personalities. 

2. If there are two barber shops in your town, 
divide your patronage between them; a barber 
can do more harm to you, if you are unpopular 
with him, than any other man in town. 

3. If your office is on the north side of town, 
let yourself be seen on the south side occasion- 
ally ; if you hang too close on the north side, you 
will soon get into a little circle of acquaintances 
who will dominate your every move; in other 
words, you will drift into a "clique." "Big city 
fellows" can't see the point here, but "small town 
men" will know what I mean. 

One reason for the existence of cliques in small 
towns is the fact that nearly all small towns are 
so full of competition in all lines of commercial 
endeavor that business absolutely controls friend- 
ship. You can theorize on this issue from now 
until the day of judgment and I can knock all 
your best arguments cold with wallops of actual 
experience and observation in more than five 
hundred small towns. 

Another lesson we learned is that the small 
town is just as rotten in morals as Chicago or any 
big city. I don't care where your small burg is 
situated or how well you think you know your 
town ; you don't know much about anybody out- 
side of the clique you belong to. You stand for 
hours talking over personalities about those out- 
side your clique, but you don't say much worth 
while listening to. A live tramp can show you 
the black spots in your burg, black spots that are 


blacker than any you'll find in the big cities ; and 
he does not have to be among you over forty- 
eight hours either. 

On this point I want to say that we found the 
cleanest towns (small towns I mean), speaking 
from the standpoint of morals, among the much 
maligned Mormon inhabitants of the west; and 
the rottenest small towns, morally, we found in 
the middle west, from the Great Lakes to the 
Missouri river. 

Another thing we learned is that the average 
farmer has less judgment in the handling of 
horses than the city horseman. I do not hesitate 
to say that seventy-five per cent of the trouble 
farmers have with their stock is the result of poor 
judgment displayed in feeding and working. 
And fully half the losses they suffer from live 
stock diseases are the result of poor nursing. If 
I must treat a severe case of any disease, give me 
anybody but a farmer to do the nursing. 

We also learned that while the man who suc- 
ceeds over a period of time must deal squarely and 
"deliver the goods", ninety per cent of all farm- 
ers we had anything to do with "want to be 
humbugged by strangers"; "and the slicker you 
do 'em the better they seem to like it." P. T. 
Barnum meant the rural population when he re- 
marked "thusly" years ago; and it holds good 
today in spite of all this nonsense about the farm- 
er not being a "rube" any more. Nine times out 
of ten he is "easy picking" for a stranger and 
"snap" for the traveling faker. 

I have known the old "soap trick" to be 
pulled off in one of the best dairy sections of Wis- 
consin, where the farmers are supposed to be 


examples of wisdom and enlightenment. This 
trick is "pulled off" about as follows, and has 
been pulled off just that way for fifty years. 

A good appearing fellow "blows into" a town 
on County Fair day or some other big occasion; 
he drives a fine horse and buggy and by giving a 
talk gets a gathering of farmers. He tells them 
he is selling the only soap on earth capable of re- 
moving grease from clothes or hands by merely 
washing with it in cold water. To prove it he 
jumps out of his buggy, takes a wrench and 
removes a wheel and with his nice, white pocket 
handkerchief wipes the grease out of the box and 
axle. He then rubs some of his soap on the hand- 
kerchief, washes it in a basin of cold water and 
the handkerchief comes out white as snow. 

The farmers can't get their money out quick 
enough, and the fellow sells a couple gross of 
two-cent soap at ten cents a bar in a few minutes. 

Everything is all right about this stunt; only 
the buggy was "greased" with black tar soap. 

I am just mentioning a few of these things, not 
because I am down on the "poor" farmer; I do 
business with the farmer every day, and I get 
along fine with him; but, because this constant 
noise about the farmer being so much brighter 
and having better brains than he used to have is 
sickening to a fellow who has seen them as I 
have. Sure, some farmers are a little "smarter" 
than their grandfathers were; but most of their 
knowledge they got out of Spears- Sawbuck or 
Jontmomery-Board's catalogues. 

To the man who knows, the man who has seen 
farmer after farmer and town after town with an 
observing eye and an open mind, this talk of 


improved farmers is just as foolish as the talk 
about the small-town girl going wrong in the big 
city. Nine times out of ten the "going wrong" 
took place in the small town before she ever saw 
the bright lights. If I had a young daughter, I 
would much rather see her grow up in the big city 
than in a small burg. If you are a city fellow 
with a growing daughter and want her to lose her 
virtue quickly, let her visit some small burg a 
few months with no more chaperoning than a 
country girl gets in a big city ; if she succeeds in 
going straight Tor more than two we|eks after 
she gets there, it will be because she has been 
quarantined for small-pox or something of that 
sort. I am merely stating a bold truth. Although 
I was raised in the city I have lived off the 
farmer, in small towns, for the last fifteen years 
and I am anything but prejudiced against the 

Among the lessons we learned of a purely vet- 
erinary nature, one sticks out most prominently, 
and that is that most practitioners work too 
cheaply; they don't get enough money for what 
they do. 

Another lesson we learned is that a large, 
unopposed field for practice usually means a 
poor field. For this reason so many locations 
seem to be vacant in the west ; they will not sup- 
port a veterinarian. In this we are reminded of 
a remark an old practitioner was in the habit of 
quoting: "Where you see the greatest number 
of bees, you will find the most honey" — an argu- 
ment he used against such locations. 

There are in the west numberless towns of 
from two thousand to four thousand population 


without a veterinarian. The surrounding coun- 
try is apparently well settled, but when you come 
to investigate you find that the farmers are poor, 
with not much prospect for ever getting rich or 
even well off. On the other hand, there are 
towns of around a thousand inhabitants a little 
further east supporting two or three veterinari- 
ans. We remember one town of ten thousand 
people that could not support one practitioner 

Were I to move into a new location today, I 
should prefer a strenuous competitive practice in 
the middle west to a large unopposed field in the 
west. An itinerant practice I would have— 

I am not sorry one whit for the years I spent 
"knocking around"; every day something turns 
up which makes it possible for me to make good 
use of the experience I got during that period. 
This is especially true as regards the use of 
money ; I can make a dollar go farther today than 
any other man I know of ; and that is something. 

Whether I will ever have a relapse of the wan- 
derlust, I cannot tell; so far not a symptom 
appears. In concluding I will say that I have 
probably had a career as varied as ever a graduate 
veterinarian had. I have seen and performed 
every form of work along veterinary lines under 
the most varied conditions. Country practice, 
city practice, state work, government work in 
both post-mortem and quarantine divisions, drug 
salesman, manager of a pharmaceutical concern, 
department editor of a veterinary magazine; 
in fact, every line of veterinary work. And the 
best is yet in me. 



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